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By A ilian 

Member Anv 

Past Chairman 

Director of t of Toch i 

Author of th / of Mixed Pa i 

Fellow of -,don 

"00 d 9b aMmm-rq .boow rro gntt- 

NEW Y '. 

D. VA^^ 1 ^^^*^ 

Gesso Tempera Painting on wood, probable age 600 

(Painting in the possession of the author.) 




By Maximilian Toch 

Member American Institute Chemical Engineers 
Municipal Lecturer on Paints, Colors, Etc., College of the 

City of New York 
Past President of the Chemists' Club 

Past Chairman Society Chemical Industry N. Y. Section 

Director of Chemical Laboratory of Toch Brothers 

Author of the Chemistry of Mixed Paints, Etc. 

Fellow of the Chemical Society of London 

Etc., Etc. 







The Eddy Press Corporation 
Cumberland. Md. 






History of Painting. 



Pigments used by the Ancients. 



Sinopia, the Search for the Mas- 

ters' secret. 



Photo-Chemical Deterioration of 

Oil Paintings. 



Cause of the Cracking of Paintings 

and the Remedies. 



Canvas, Wood and Metal as Foun- 




Preparation of Canvas in Commer- 
cial Practice. 



Renovation and Cleaning of Pic- 




The School of Impressionism. 



Volatile Solvents. 



Picture Varnishes. 






Linseed Oil and Other Drying Oils. 



Classification of the Pigments and 

their Description. 



The Permanent Colors. 



Pigments Dangerous to Health. 



Pigments affected by Coal Smoke, 




Water in Tube Colors. 



Pigments which are Permanent, 




Pigments which Dry Slowly. 



The failure of Sir J. Reynold's 



Permanent Painting 


Gesso Tempera Painting on Wood Frontispiece 

Photo-Micrograph of a Section of an Oil Paint- 
ing Showing Cracks 40 

The Engineering Features of a Painting at Rest. . 42 

Photo- Micrograph of Cracks in a Painting, and 
Dirt and Dust Encysted in the Varnish 45 

Painting on Mahogany Panel Showing Serious 
Cracks Produced by Varnishing the Picture Be- 
fore the Underlying Coat was Sufficiently Dry. . 48 

Photo-Micrograph of Cracks Invisible to the Naked 
Eye Showing Encysted Matter and Fissures. . . 63 

Photograph of an Oil Painting Showing Serious 
Cracking Throughout, Due to the Contraction of 
the Paint 80 

High-power Photo-micrograph of Flake White 
which Contains too much Water in its Composi- 
tion 185 

P r e f a c e 


IN the course of my acquaintance with artistic 
painters, I was astonished to find the enormous 
amount of ignorance that exists among them as 
to the composition of the materials which they use 
and the science of painting. Almost every painter of 
note will tell you what a great pity it is that the 
science of making colors is lost, and that the ancient 
painters and great masters were so successful primar- 
ily because their pigments and materials were far su- 
perior to those which we can obtain to-day. This 
statement is so diametrically opposed to the facts 
that I have been prompted to make a study of paint 
pigments in order to throw some light on this sub- 
ject, and demonstrate to the painter that the colors 
of to-day are far superior to the colors used by the 
ancients, and show that the principal fault lies with 
the manufacturer, who makes fugitive colors, for the 
use of which there is no scientific nor commercial rea- 
son. Almost any large dealer in artists' colors has 
upwards of 200 pigments on sale. In the first place, 
no palette could hold any such quantity, and in the 
second place, there are possibly only 10 or 15 sufficient- 
ly permanent pigments to warrant their use. 

The correct, complete and most edifying book on 


P r e f a c e 

this subject has never been written, nor is my effort 
of much value, excepting perhaps from the stand- 
point of the chemist. Some day there will be born 
a man, who will be both a color chemist and a painter, 
and that man will write the ideal book on the subject. 
The popular impression is that all chemists must have 
a comprehensive knowledge of the chemistry of pig- 
ments, but this is not true, as there are very few chem- 
ists who know anything about the technology of 
paints, because it is a specialty which very few have 
worked up, and no matter how proficient a chemist 
may be, if he is not an artistic painter, he cannot 
advise how a sky should be painted, or what particular 
greens to use for foliage and shadows. The technique 
of the fine arts is a subject by itself, and while I may 
be supposed to have some knowledge on this sub- 
ject, I frankly admit my inability to paint, but in- 
asmuch as I feel very certain of one part of my sub- 
ject, that is the physical and chemical properties of 
the pigments, I do not hesitate to recommend in plain 
language exactly what the painter shall do with refer- 
ence to his colors, and the materials upon which he 

Furthermore, I was very much astonished to find 
that in the art schools of the various countries no at- 
tention whatever is paid to the chemistry of colors. 
A painter should be aware that certain pigments are 
affected by the fumes arising from vegetables in a 
dining room, and that these fumes form chemical com- 


P r e f a c e 

pounds with certain pigments, and a painter should 
likewise know that the atmosphere of large cities is 
contaminated with acid gases which are absent in 
smaller places, and which did not exist before the age 
of the burning of coal as fuel. 

I trust, therefore, that my work will be taken serious- 
ly, and that the poorer painter will recognize that he 
need not use expensive colors to produce permanent 
results. I am glad that I am not actuated by any com- 
mercial motive in writing this book, for, although I 
have been a color manufacturer for many years, I have 
never made, nor have I the intention of making tube 
colors for artists' use, but I have made quantities of 
finely ground colors for many of my friends, who are 
painters, and have demonstrated to them that some- 
times the ordinary paints ground in oil, such as are 
used by house decorators, are sufficiently good for 
many purposes, and in many instances produce the 
same results as the more expensive colors filled in 
tubes. I have tried to write as fully as I know and 
give as plainly as I could the description relating to 
the more expensive colors, condemning those which 
should be condemned, and recommending others as 
long as there is nothing superior to be had. 

It may interest the reader to know why I take such 
a positive stand with reference to the fading, drying 
and other physical characteristics of colors, in view 
of the fact that the majority of investigators vacillate 



In 1886, while I was still a chemical student, I 
made my first investigation of tube colors, and from 
that day to this I have been interested in the subject 
of the manufacture of paints and pigments as a vo- 
cation, and have always been interested in the sub- 
ject of the application of artistic pigments as an avo- 
cation. Drying tests can, of course, be conducted in 
a few weeks, but extensive tests take years, and al- 
though it is reasonable to determine the permanency 
of a color by exposure to the bright sunshine for 
three months, I have made experiments along these 
lines which have involved exposure for over five years. 

When pigments are mixed with an aqueous medium 
containing a little gum, and the resulting picture is 
hermetically sealed, no decomposition takes place, be- 
cause the majority of chemical reactions cease in the 
absence of moisture, but linseed oil or varnish medium 
will generate moisture and certain gases, producing a 
slow decomposition, so that it often takes years to 
make a determination of which a description can be 
written in a few minutes. 

It is a great pleasure for me to acknowledge the 
assistance I received from Dr. George F. Kunz, who 
gave me a fairly complete collection of semi-precious 
minerals, all of which represented the pigments used 
by the ancients and with which I conducted many of 
my experiments. 


Permanent Painting 


THE decorative art of using colors is probably as 
old as man. We have the instinctive effort of 
the barbarian, who bedecked his body with col- 
ored earths, and we have the frescoes and wall decora- 
tions and the painting of the columns in the temples 
of Luxor and Karnak, as evidence of the use of pig- 
ments for decorative purposes. There seems to be 
little doubt that from the earliest day of decorative 
painting down to the fourteenth century, the media 
used consisted of some albuminous or gelatinous com- 
pound mixed with water. The white of egg or the 
entire egg mixed with lime was evidently the prin- 
cipal medium used to fasten colors, although many 
other substances were used, such as the liquid ob- 
tained by boiling parchment and the skins of animals 
in water, which is practically the same thing as using 

In the method of painting with the white of egg 
which has always been known as tempera, the paint 
was generally applied to a ground of gesso, which is 
the Italian word for gypsum, or plaster of Paris, and 
the pigments which were used, and the methods of 


Permanent Painting 

preparation of the wood foundations for painting 
were so perfect that absolutely no decomposition takes 
place in gesso tempera painting, for we have brilliant 
examples that are over 600 years old practically in 
their pristine condition. Pliny mentions the use of 
milk as a medium, and while it is doubtful whether 
we have any authentic samples of early paintings with 
milk, we have the custom still in vogue, for there are 
thousands of tons of kalsomine or water colors made 
at the present day in which the binding material is 
casein, which is the gluey substance that is contained 
in milk. In addition to these media the early monks 
used almost every conceivable substance of a sticky 
nature, such as wax, honey, wine boiled until it is 
slightly thickened (glucose or sugar), the juice of 
various plants, and from the eighth century on we 
begin to have evidence of the use of drying oils in the 
form of some nut oil (more than likely linseed oil 
mixed with a varnish), for in Italy before the days 
of oil, we have, according to Cennini, the mention of 
vernice, from which evidently our word "varnish" 
has been etymologically derived. 

Oils were known to the ancients as an article of 
food and as a material for anointing the body, suffi- 
cient evidence for this being found in the Bible, and 
as many priests busied themselves with painting and 
used the materials at hand, there is no doubt that 
many of them used cooking oils such as olive, flax 
and nut oil in many of their works. Eastlake, in his 


Permanent Painting 

most valuable book,* , makes the statement that Aetius, 
a medical writer of the fifth and the beginning of the 
sixth century, mentions at great length, a drying oil 
in connection with works of art, and it was this early 
writer who described at full length what we probably 
recognize as "linseed oil," and after mentioning this, 
he makes the statement, "walnut oil is prepared like 
that of almonds, either by pounding or pressing the 
nuts, or by throwing them into boiling water after 
they have been bruised. It has a use besides a medi- 
cinal use, being applied by gilders or encaustic painters, 
for it dries, and preserves gildings and encaustic 
paints for a long time." 

The popular statement that the brothers Hubert and 
Jan Van Eyck were the first to paint permanent 
pictures in oil, is only true in so far that both of these 
men evidently investigated all the work that had been 
previously done, as the Italian historian, Facius, speaks 
of Van Eyck as having consulted the previous author- 
ities with much profit, t Facius, whose full name was 
Bartolommeo Facio, appears to have first published 
his work in 1456, but we have ample evidence as far 
back as Henry III, in 1239, showing that oil painting 
was practiced in England as a trade. In view of the 
fact that the work by Sir Charles Eastlake is to be. 
found in few libraries, and that his celebrated book is 
therefore not easily accessible, I quote from his in- 

* Materials for a History of Oil Painting. 

t Eastlake's Material for the History of Oil Painting, p. 25. 


Permanent Painting 

vestigations as follows: "In 1239 (23d of Henry 
III) oil is mentioned in connexion with painting. Sim- 
ilar notices appear in numerous account- rolls belong- 
ing to the reign of Edward I, viz., from 1274 to 1295 ; 
and in others dated 1307, the 1st of Edward II." 

Another series exists in the records of Ely Cathedral, 
the dates extending from 1325 to 1351. A great 
number of the same kind are preserved in accounts 
belonging to the reign of Edward III, and relating 
to the decoration of St. Stephen's Chapel, from 1352 
to 1358. Partial translations (unfortunately without 
the original text) of some of the last-mentioned 
records have been published in " Smith's Antiquities 
of Westminster."* The extracts made by that writer 
relate to glass-painting, architecture, and decorations 
generally. Of certain weekly accounts (belonging to 
the reign of Edward I), amounting originally to one 
hundred and forty-two in number, he states that he 
had found eleven only, t In the course of a recent 
investigation forty-four have been discovered. How- 
ever interesting in other points of view, these numer- 
ous documents throw but little light on the practice 
of oil painting. The same materials constantly re- 
appear, but there is no direct allusion to their use, 
except as regards the process of varnishing. Such 
passages as the following refer to the commonest 
operations of this kind: "To the same (Stephen Le 

* London, 1837. f Ib., p. 76. 


Permanent Painting 

Joigneur) for varnishing two coffers, 8d.";* and else, 
"To Richard de Assheby for preparing with white, 
covering with ochre, and varnishing the King's Cham- 
ber, according to contract. 32 shillings." t A few 
specimens of the mandates and accounts above ad- 
verted to, beginning with those of the thirteenth cen- 
tury, will therefore suffice. The first in order of time 
is familiar to many, having been originally published 
by Walpole. 

1239. "The King to his treasurer and chamber- 
lains. Pay from our treasury to Odo the goldsmith 
and Edward his son one hundred and seventeen shil- 
lings and ten-pence for oil, varnish, and colours bought, 
and for pictures executed in the Queen's Chamber 
at Westminster, from the octaves of the Holy Trinity 
(May 25th) in the 23rd year of our reign, to the 
feast of St. Barnabas (June nth) in the same year, 
namely, for fifteen days." $ 

It is here necessary to remark, in anticipation of 
the inquiry respecting varnishes, that the word vernix 
or vernisium, in the earlier notices of painting, does 
not mean a fluid composition, but dry sandarac resin, 
which, when melted and boiled with oil, formed a 

* "Eidem (Stephanno le Joignur) pro vernicione ii. coffro rum Viii. 

t "Richardo de Assheby pro bealbacions ocriacione et ver nacione 
camere Regis ad tascham xxxii. s." 

t "Rex thesauriario et camerariis suis salutem. Liberate de thesauro 
nostro Odoni aurifabro et Edwardo filio sup centum et septemdecem 
solidos et decem denarios pro oleo, vernici, et coloribus emptis, et 
picturis factis in camera reginae nqstrae apud Westm. ab octavis Sane- 
tae Trinitatis anno regni nostri xxiii. usque ad festum Sancti Barnabe 
apostoli, eodem anno, scilicet per xv. dies." 


Permanent Painting 

varnish, in the modern sense of the term. The proofs 
of this will be given hereafter. It may be sufficient 
here to observe, that, in the English accounts, the 
quantity of varnish is always noted by weight, and that 
of oil by measure. The above passage should be 
translated "for oil, sandarac resin, and colours." It 
will be seen, that the order relates to the work of 
fifteen days only; but it does not follow that the oil 
varnish was used upon pictures, or operations in paint- 
ing, then executed. In the portion of time specified 
some works may have been varnished and others pre- 
pared for it. The date of this mandate is a year be- 
fore the birth of Cimabue. 

In 1259, Master William, the painter, with his as- 
sistants, received forty-three shillings and ten-pence for 
painting a Jesse (no doubt the usual genealogical tree 
of Christ) on the mantel-piece of the King's Chamber 
(The Painted Chamber), and "for renovating and 
washing the paintings on the walls of the said cham- 
ber," * 

This supposes that these celebrated works, consisting 
chiefly of subjects from the Old Testament and from 
-the Apocrypha, were varnished. Size paintings, with- 
out such a protection, would hardly have been proof 
against this "ablution." The tempera, composed chief- 
ly of yolk of egg, is firmer than size, and becomes 
very solid in time; but the colored remains of the 

* "Magistro Willelmo Pictori cum hominibus suis circa Jesse in 
Mantell, camini Regis depingendum et circa picturam parietum ipsius 
camere Regis innovandam et abluendam, xliii. s. x. d." 


Permanent Painting 

Painted Chamber (the varnish probably having be- 
come decomposed from damp during the lapse of 
ages) easily yielded to the sponge when they were 
examined in 1819. * 

In the period from 1274 to 1277 (3rd to 5th of 
Edward I), an account, apparently relating to the 
Painted Chamber, contains the following items: "To 
Reymund, for seventeen Ib. of white lead, ii. s. x. d. 
To the same, for sixteen gallons (?) of oil, xvi. s. To 
the same, for twenty-four tb. of varnish, xii. s. To 
Hugo le Vespunt, for eighteen gallons of oil, xxxi. s.,' ; 
etc. t Again: "To Reymund, for a hundred (Leaves) 
of gold, iii. s. To the same, for twenty-two ft>. of 
varnish, xi. s. i. d." $ Elsewhere : "To Robert King, 
for one cartload of charcoal for drying the painting in 
the King's Chamber, iii. s. viii. d." 

The last entry appears to relate to the drying of 
surfaces painted in oil, but the precaution may also 
have been necessary before varnishing tempera. The 
application of heat, even before painting in oil, ac- 
cording to the directions of Eraclius, will here be re- 
membered : "Ad solem vel ad ignem siccare permittes." 
It can hardly escape observation, that the practice of 
oil painting taught by Eraclius agrees in many details 

* See Gage Rokewode's Account of the Painted Chamber, 1842, p. 15. 

t "Reymundo pro xviii. li. albi plumbi ii. s. x. d. Eidem pro xvi. 
gal. olei xvi. s. Eidem pro xxiiii. li. verniz xll. s. Hugoni le Ves- 
punt pro xviii. gal. olei xxi. s." 

t "Reymundo pro C. auri iii. s. Eidem pro xxii. li. verniz xi. s. i. d." 

"Roberto King pro i. carecta carbonis ad picturam in Camera Regis 
desiccandam iii. s. viii. d." 


Permanent Painting 

with that exemplified in the English records ; and the 
circumstance may warrant a supposition that he com- 
posed his treatise in this country. 1289 (i7th of Ed- 
ward I). The following materials are enumerated in 
an account relating to repairs in the Painted Cham- 
ber: "white lead, varnish, green, oil, red lead, tin-foil, 
size, gold leaf, silver leaf, red ochre, vermilion, indigo, 
azure, earthen vessels, cloth, etc." * 

In 1292, oil and varnish are twice mentioned in a 
similar account, t In 1307, in consequence of a fire 
(which occurred in 1298), repairs were again under- 
taken, and similar materials were used. 

The records of Ely are more conclusive as to the 
mixture of oil with the colors; and, as the materials 
are nearly the same as in the above extracts, it may 
be inferred that oil painting of some kind was employed 
at Westminster. Of this, indeed, there are other 

1325. Among the items of an account, three 
flagons and a half of oil are mentioned "for painting 

* "In albo plumbo, vernicio, viridi, oleo, plumbo rubeo, stangno 
albo, cole (Fr. colle), auro, argento, sinople, vermilone, ynde, asura, 
ollis, panno et allis minutis emptis ad viridandam novam Camereram 
de petra et ad emendaciones picture mangne Camere Regis sicut patet 
per particulas. Summa xii. li. vl. s. vi. d. ob. ' This extract is given in the 
work last quoted, but with some inaccuracies ; for example, ranno 
for panno, and in the heading, verniorum for verinorum. There is 
no punctuation in the original account-rolls, but vernicio viridi should 
not have been connected. It would be unjust to point out these 
trifling oversights in an important and interesting work, without, at 
the same time, paying a tribute of respect to the memory of one who 
so often distinguished himself as an accurate and intelligent inves- 

t Item in iii. quarteronis olei empti. Summa ix. d. In 1. Ib. vernicio 
(sic) empt. Summa iiii. d. In ocra, plastro, filo et pelli emptis," etc. 


Permanent Painting 

the figures upon the columns."* The term "ymagines," 
in these and other English records of the time, is used 
indiscriminately for painted figures and for statues. In 
the treatise of St. Audemar the latter are distinguished 
as "ymagines rotunde." There can be little doubt that, 
in the above passage, painted figures were meant; 
and, in any case, oil colors were used. 

In 1336, in a similar account, oil appears in abund- 
ance, forty-eight flagons altogether; and this may ex- 
plain its absence in other entries, where colors and 
other materials are mentioned without oil. It should 
also be observed that, if, in mutilated documents, "var- 
nish" appears alone, it may always be inferred that 
the oil (without which the vernix, or sandarac, was 
of no use) was originally included in the list of ma- 
terials. In the last mentioned account columns were 
to be painted, t 

In 1339 and 1341 oil again appears; in the account 
of the former date "for tempering the colours." $ 

In 1351 oil is mentioned "for making the painting 
in the chapel." In all these documents, when varnish 

* "In iii. lagenis et dimid. olei pro ymaginibus super columnas de- 
pingend. iii. s. vi. d." 

t "Item in vii. iv. albi plumbi emp. de eodem xii. s. prec. i. d. In 
xiii. lagenis olei wmpt. de Thoma d'Elm x. s. iii. d. ob. prec. lagen. 
x. d. ob'. In vi. lagenis olei empt. de Thoma de Chayk iv. s. xi. d. prec. 
lagen. x. d. In xxviii. lagenis et dimid. olei empt. de Nich. de Wickam 
xxvi. s. i. d. ob'. prec. lagen. xi. d. In dimid. lagen. olei empt. v/d. In 
vas terren, pro oleo imponendo iv. d. quad. In i. longa corda empt. 
pro le chapital deaurand. et column, depingend. viii. d., etc. 

$ "In xxxi. lagenis et dimid. olei empt. de quodam nomine de Wick- 
ham pro coloribus temperandis xxl. s. prec. lagen. viii. d.," etc. 

"In oleo empt. pro pictura facienda in capella x. s.," etc. The 
above extracts relating to Ely Cathedral will be found in the 
Archaeologia, vol. ix. 


Permanent Painting 

is included in the items, the quantity, as usual, is noted 
in weight. 

The last accounts in the general list before given 
(1352-1358) relate to St. Stephen's Chapel. They 
are very numerous ; but, as already observed, they 
afford no additional light respecting the particular ap- 
plications of oil painting. In other respects they are 
of great interest ; and, like those of the time of Edward 
I, indicate a practice in art corresponding in almost 
every particular with that described by Cennini. 

The large supplies of oil which appear in the West- 
minster and Ely records, indicate the coarseness of the 
operations for which oil was required. The quantity 
supplied to Giorgio d' Aquila, at Pinarolo, has ex- 
cited the surprise of Italian antiquaries ; * but it now 
appears that contemporary examples, quite as remark- 
able, are to be found in English documents. Such no- 
tices as the following (not the only entries of the 
kind) at least remove all doubt as to the nature of 
the oil sometimes used, and the general purposes for 
which it was provided. 

The extracts relate to St. Stephen's Chapel. Sept. 
19, 1352, (25th of Edward III) : "For nineteen flagons 
of painters' oil, bought for the painting of the chapel, 
at 35. 4d. the flagon, 435. 4d." t March 19, 1353: 

* See a letter from the Padre Guglielmo Delia Valle, in the Giprnale 
di pisa, 1794. He endeavors to show, notwithstanding the plain ex- 
pression, "non erat sufficiens in pingendo," that the oil may have 
been used for lamps. 

t "Die Lune xix. Septembris. In xix. lagenis olei pictorum emptis 
pro pictura capelle precium lagene iii. s. iiii. d. xliii. s. iiii. d." 


Permanent Painting 

"To Thomas Drayton, for eight flagons of painters' 
oil, bought for the painting of the chapel, at 2s. 6d. 
the flagon, 2os." * May 13, in the same year: "To 
John de Hennay, for seventy flagons and a half of 
painters' oil, bought for the painting of the same 
chapel, at 2od. the flagon, 1173. 6d." t Contracting 
with this lavish use of oil, we find such entries as the 
following: "To Gilbert Pokerig, for two flagons of 
size, bought for the painting of the said chapel, 2d. 
To the same, for two earthen vessels for heating the 
size, three halfpence." $ 

Eggs, which afforded the vehicle for the finer work 
in tempera, are not mentioned: this may, however, 
be accounted for either by the incompleteness of the 
records of this period, or by the nature of the work, 
as the item occurs in earlier documents, hereafter to 
be noticed, belonging to the reign of Edward I (1274). 
It will be observed that the price of the oil used in 
St. Stephen's Chapel varies, and that sometimes it 
is more than three times the price of that employed 
at Ely about the same time. The expression "painters 
Oil," applied to the former, may explain this. It had 
been probably purified and deprived of its mucilage 
by exposure to the sun, in the mode then generally 

* "Die Lune xix. die Marcii. Thome Drayton pro viii. lagenis olei 
pictorum emptis pro pictura capelle precium lagene ii. s. vi. d. xx. s." 

t "Die Lune xiii. die Maii. Johanni de Hennaij pro ixx. lagenis 
et di. olei pictorum emptis pro pictura ejusdem capelle precium lagene 
xx. d. cxvii. s. vi. d." 

"Die Lune xix. die Marcii (1353). Gilberto Pokerig pro ii. lagenis 

cole em " ~ * * "' ' 

emptis pro 

f. .L*riv, J~U11*~ JV1JV. V11W MBOMVU V. A ** */ U / . VJ11-U _ _ 

de cole emptis pro pictura dicte capelle ii. d. Eidem pro ii. ollis terreis 
emptis pro cole calefaciendo i. d. ob." 


Permanent Painting 

practiced for the preparation of linseed oil which 
was to serve for better kinds of painting (on surfaces 
where it was desirable to produce a gloss), and for 
the composition of varnishes. This appears the more 
likely, as the oil was sometimes purchased of the 
(then) principal painter, Hugh of St. Albans. * 

Cennino Cennini gives the most exact formulas for 
the preparation of drying oil and varnishes, including 
prescribed methods for the grinding of colors in oil 
for painting in oil on iron and on stone, and one of the 
most noteworthy facts that we have in conjunction 
with this remarkable Italian investigator is, the fact, 
that the description of the varnish kettles for the melt- 
ing of the gum, and the implements used for stirring 
are almost identical in shape with those that are used 
in the present day, and in his description of the prepa- 
ration of drying oil which we now popularly term "gold 
size," is a slow-drying linseed oil that remains "tacky" 
for several days, and dries without shrivelling. It is 
also noteworthy of mention that our methods for 
making an oil size do not differ to-day from the for- 
mulas prescribed by Cennini. 

The early Italians were better book-binders than 
they were painters, and as nearly all of their subjects 
were of a religious nature, the madonnas with the gold- 

* "Die Lune xxv. die Julii (1352) Eidem (Magistro Hugoni de 
Sancto Albano) pro xiii. lagenis olei pictorum emptis pro pictura diste 
capelle precium lagene iii. s. iiii. d. xliii. s. iiii. d." The same quantity, 
at the same comparatively high price, is entered on the 19th of Septem- 
ber following. This extract has been already given. 


Permanent Painting 

en background, the saints with the golden halos, were 
all so wonderfully prepared, that to this day we have 
excellent examples of this art, which is really a mix- 
ture of book-binding and painting. 

About the year 1400, the practice of oil painting 
had become thoroughly established, due undoubtedly, 
to the research and investigation of the Van Eycks. 
The examples of their oil painting which are in ex- 
istence to this day are in a condition that is absolutely 
remarkable. Even a superficial examination of one 
of the paintings of Hubert Van Eyck in the National 
Art Gallery in London, shows a brilliancy and fresh- 
ness that pays an inexpressible tribute to the wonderful 
care exercised by this master and his brother. 


Permanent Painting 


THE permanence of the old paintings is entirely 
due to the fact that the painters had very few 
pigments to work with, and practically all of 
them were native earths which were in many instances 
exceedingly brilliant. The lapis lazuli which is the 
same thing as our ultramarine blue of to-day occurs 
in nature, and varies in shade from a greenish sky 
blue to a dark ultramarine. The selection of various 
shades of this most permanent pigment gave to all 
the painters who used it a blue which has not been 

For the yellow pigments there were ample yellow 
earths in the form of ochre and sienna, which while 
not very brilliant were sufficiently bright for all pur- 

The white effect about the gesso paintings was pro- 
duced by whiting and gypsum, and as white lead was 
known 400 B. C., either as an artificial product or as 
a mineral known as cerusite which is a native car- 
bonate of lead, the use of this pigment was well known 
and largely practiced, although its defects were noted 
by nearly every one of the early writers. 


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As far as green is concerned, there were several 
varieties of minerals that furnished green, principally 
malachite, which is a form of carbonate of copper, 
and no doubt when properly glazed was found to be 
amply permanent, although sulphur gases affected it. 

In addition to these pigments they had Grecian 
green or Graecum which the French later on called 
verte de grece, from which the term verdigris is de- 
rived. Whether this was metallic copper subjected to 
vinegar as we now know it, or whether it was the 
turquoise mineral or clayey earth stained with phos- 
phate of copper, as may have been the case, it is diffi- 
cult to say, for the verdigris that we know in modern 
art is transparent, and has the qualities of a lake or 
stain, and not the qualities of a paint. 

Concerning the reds which the ancients used, we 
know that they were familiar with all the red oxides 
of iron, and the Italians used not only calcined sienna 
which is a brownish red and now recognized as burnt 
sienna, but they also calcined ochre, which made a 
yellower red. The bright red or vermilion used from 
the thirteenth century on under the name of sinopia, 
deserves a chapter for itself, and will be described 
later on. 

As regards the blue colors, indigo was used by the 
Phoenicians. This is an organic compound which at 
that time, according to the latest researches on the 
subject, was obtained from the extract of a certain 
fish. We now recognize this substance as Indican, 


Permanent Painting 

which is chemically analogous to indigo, and is found 
as a product of decomposition, even in the human be- 
ing. The dark blue dye that was used in Egypt, and 
is still preserved in some of the mummy cases is 
recognized as this particular indigo, and as the color 
is mentioned by Cennini, there is ample evidence of 
its use. It never was permanent, however, and all 
our philosophies on the colors of the ancients can only 
refer to those which have stood the test of time. 

Concerning the blacks, we have evidence that russ 
which is equivalent to our lampblack was manufac- 
tured as far back as 1352, and that in the fourteenth 
century the calcining of paints even to the ancients 
was a familiar operation. * 

There are about 215 tube colors for sale to-day for 
the use of painters, and out of this entire amount there 
are not over twelve that may have any possible use, 
and ninety-nine painters out of a hundred could get 
along almost perfectly with seven or eight pigments. 
The remainder of this vast number of pigments in 
existence are not only useless, but are a positive detri- 
ment, because every one of them has some inherent 
defect which makes it a menace to the permanence 
of paintings. Inasmuch as we are concerned with 
painting only as it has been tried since the time of 
Van Eyck, and as a large number of the paintings 
are still extant in a perfect state of preservation which 

* See Eastlake, o. 133. Notes from a German manuscript in the 
Public Library in Strassburg. 


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have been made since those days, it behooves us to 
look into the materials and pigments that were used, 
and as there is no need for any improvement in the 
matter of pigments, it would be very well to stick to 
the old ones. 

If we go back 2000 to 3000 years we find that the 
pigments used by the Egyptians, Phoenicians and those 
described by Pliny were practically the same as those 
that were used by the painters of the fourteenth, fif- 
teenth and sixteenth centuries. In every case native 
earths were used, although it is likely that zinc oxide 
was a manufactured pigment in the time of Pliny, it 
having been collected in the furnaces where zinc was 
melted. But the media used before the discovery that 
oil could be used in painting, had much to do with the 
permanence and brilliancy of the colors, for assuming 
that the principal media in those days was always 
water with a glutinant such as the white of egg, glue 
obtained by boiling parchment in water, or some simi- 
lar adhesive material, there was no re-action between 
the colors when they were dry, so that we have many 
examples of brilliant tempera paintings that are 600 
and 700 years old. The Flemish painters as well as 
the Italians confined themselves to very few colors, 
and all the colors used by the painters prior to the time 
of artificial chemical colors are included in the fol- 
lowing list: 

Red: Sinopia, or cinnibar, which is the same as 
our vermilion, but inasmuch as the native sinopia was 


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used, a variety of shades were obtained by selecting 
ores ranging from orange to a very deep red. 

Red oxides of iron, which were native, and burnt 
ochres and burnt siennas. The burnt ochres and burnt 
siennas are all equivalent to the Mars colors of to-day. 

Yellow: native ochre, native sienna. 

Green: pow.dered malachite, terre verte or green 

Brown: native umber and bituminous earth similar 
to cassel brown, vandyke brown, etc. 

Black: burnt ivory, charred bones and condensed 
soot (lampblack). 

White: plaster of Paris (gypsum), whiting (cal- 
cium carbonate). These two were used for gesso 
painting and later for oil painting. White lead (ceru- 
site), zinc oxide moderately, and tin oxide, but from 
the evidence at hand white lead was used more than 
any other white pigment. 

Blue: the principal blue used was lapis lazuli, 
which is identical with the ultramarine blue of to-day. 
This ranges in color from a sky blue to a deep ultra- 
marine, and was selected according to shade. 

It must not be inferred that all the pigments used by 
the painters of ancient times were absolutely perma- 
nent, for only those that have survived have been per- 
manent pigments, orpiment, for instance, which is the 
tri-sulphide of arsenic, is a color which interacted with 
other pigments. 


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A number of lakes were used which are the ex- 
tracts of woods, as well as of plants, such as the beet 
and cactus and red berries, but none of these red 
lakes were permanent. 


Permanent Painting 



MUCH time and thought has been expended 
upon the so-called search for the secret of 
the old masters. This search was probably 
started by Sir Joshua Reynolds, who had the idea 
that the permanence of the pictures of the old mas- 
ters was largely due to some secret knowledge which 
they possessed of certain colors, and that the so- 
called sinopia of the old masters was a red which 
disappeared and had been duplicated after the six- 
teenth century. On the contrary it is quite certain 
that the early Italian and Flemish painters had no 
secrets. Their painting was conducted upon lines 
of common sense and intellectual investigation. 
Rubens, Rembrandt, Franz Hals and their contem- 
poraries did not use over five or possibly seven colors, 
and the sinopia which they used was all of one origin. 
Sinopia is evidently derived from the word sinopis,* 
and means a red earth from which the name cinnibar 
has been derived. We have therefore the cinnibar 
or red earth which was well known as far back as the 
twelfth century, and was found in an Austrian locality 

* Die Malerei der Alten, Johns. 


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now known as Idria, which at that time was a province 
of Venetia. In Spain * this pigment has likewise 
long been known and is still found there to-day. It 
occurs as a bright red earth varying in color from 
scarlet to deep red, which is nothing more nor less than 
quick silver vermilion in its native form, together 
with oxide of iron. 

From analyses made by the author of fragments of 
paintings of the fourteenth century, bright reds are 
conclusively proven to be sulphide of mercury or ver- 
milion. It is also well known that for thousands of 
years the Chinese either made vermilion artificially, 
or carefully selected the bright particles from their 
native ores, and that the Chinese vermilion was in- 
troduced into Venetia during the thirteenth century 
by Marco Polo. This celebrated explorer traveled 
eastward, and found the first passage to the Orient. 
However, as the first authentic biography of Marco 
Polo was written by John Baptist Remusio 200 years 
after Marco Polo's death, there is some doubt as to 
some of the details of his trip. So we have, not only 
the introduction of the artificial and natural Chinese 
vermilion into Italy during the thirteenth century, but 
we have the Spanish ores of Almaden, and ores from 
the mines of Idria, from which all shades of bright 
red were selected for the production of this so-called 
sinopia, which was supposed to have been the brilliant 
and permanent red which was one of the causes of 

* The Almaden Mines. 


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the superiority of the lost art, and one of the alleged 
great secrets of the old masters. 

In examining a piece of ore from the Idria section, 
it is noted that many bright shades of red may be ex- 
tracted and as sulphide of mercury when properly 
varnished and not exposed to brilliant sunshine does 
not change, we have a satisfactory explanation of the 
celebrated permanent red. 

There is no doubt that in addition to using this 
red as a body color, hundreds of artists glazed this 
natural or artificial red with madder lake, and the 
condition of paintings of Franz Hals and his con- 
temporary school is evidence of that fact. 

Some statements have been made that sinopia is a 
color redder than vermilion, and was made from mad- 
der, but as vermilion or cinnibar is composed of all 
the shades of red from minium to deep scarlet, and 
as madder was known during that time, it is more than 
likely that the madder was used either as a glaze or 
mixed with vermilion, and in either case it was per- 
manent, because all of the painters of that time var- 
nished their pictures. 

Some statements have been made referring to mad- 
der as a Brazil wood lake, and Eastlake makes the 
statement "Lignum brasilium nascitur in partibus 
Alexandriae et est rubei coloris." Brazil wood has 
its origin in a part of Alexandria, and is of red color, 
but inasmuch as Brazil was neither discovered nor 
exploited for several centuries afterwards, this state- 


Permanent Painting 

ment must be taken to refer to some particular wood 
which was called Brazil 'wood, and which was indi- 
genous to the country around Alexandria, and cannot 
be confounded with the Brazil wood we know, which 
produces a maroon dye that is exceedingly fugitive. 

As far as the secret of the old masters is concerned, 
it would be very wise for modern painters not to waste 
their time in a search of this kind for these old masters 
whose pictures have lived to this day, were possessed 
of only one secret, which was common sense. 


Permanent Painting 



ALL oil paintings show unmistakable signs of 
age. Students who visit the various art galleries 
and copy old oil paintings invariably glaze them 
with a lake color or asphaltum, so that the lighter 
colors are toned down and show a yellowish brown 
tinge, which to all of us is an unmistakable sign of 
age. The cause of this deterioration is nowhere in 
the entire literature of oil paintings, as far as the 
writer could learn. A number of writers have all 
suggested a remedy, which suggests the causes, the 
remedy given being the exposure of a painting to 
bright sunlight. The change in color is always more 
apparent in the high lights, and where light tints have 
been used, and inasmuch as water colors, pastels, 
and tempera painting do not show this particular 
deterioration, it is quite evident that the cause does 
not lie in the pigment itself, nor in the sub-stratum 
upon which is painted, but in the medium which is 
used to bind the pigment to its foundation. In search- 

* Read before the 7th International Congress of Applied Chemistry, 
London, May 28, 1909. 


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ing for the cause, an analogous condition exists on 
walls of buildings which are painted in oil paint, 
for it is always apparent that where the sun shines on 
a wall it either retains its pristine color or becomes 
more brilliant. Similarly, back of the picture there is 
a distinct yellowing or browning of the pigment which 
gives a clear line of demarkation where the picture 
hung. Another piece of evidence is the fact that no 
such yellowing occurs where walls are painted with 
distemper or water colors, but this particular reaction 
is apparent in every instance where oil pigments are 
used. After finding the cause the task of finding a 
remedy was more simple. A series of experiments 
were tried by the author in the following sequence, 
and with the following results : 

That the cause is what may be termed the effect of 
light on a mixture of 'white lead, zinc oxide and lin- 
seed oil, or a linseed oil varnish is evident because 
paint chemists have long known that white lead in 
any form, whether it be called flake white, kremitz 
white, silver white or white lead, has a reducing ac- 
tion on the pigment present in linseed oil, or linseed 
oil varnish, and that this reducing action changes this 
pigment into another pigment which is yellow. It 
may fairly be asked whether such a reaction can take 
place if the linseed oil is bleached. To this question 
the reply must be given that the bleaching of linseed 
oil does not destroy the color which is present, but 
simply changes it from an olive yellow to an exceed- 


Permanent Painting 

ingly pale yellow, which can hardly be seen, so if we 
take refined or bleached linseed oil and mix it with 
white lead or a pigment containing white lead or zinc 
oxide, we have a very brilliant white which remains 
white as long as it is exposed to bright light. If 
we take this mixture and place it for six weeks in 
an absolutely dark place, the white paint changes into 
the well known yellow tint and it is this particular 
change which produces in all paintings the distinct 
yellowness of age. Flaxseed, from which linseed oil 
is made, contains a coloring matter which is known 
as chlorophyll. This is the same coloring matter which 
is found in all plants, in many of the woods and in 
a large number of gums and resins, particularly in the 
fossil resins. 

Vibert, the well known French painter, knew this 
fact without having been able to trace it to its chemical 
cause, and this led him to abandon entirely linseed 
oil as a binding medium and to substitute petroleum 
and colophony compounds with which he painted most 
of his pictures. Nearly all of his subjects contain 
little or no light colors, such as whites or straw colors, 
but as his particular forte lay in painting pictures 
of cardinals, the original brilliancy of his paintings 
still remains, and there is no reason why his pictures 
should not endure for centuries, if they are properly 
protected from any influence of the elements and ob- 
noxious gases of modern civilization. 

A long series of experiments were, therefore, made 


Permanent Painting 

and commercial chlorophyll, which is the coloring 
matter of flaxseed, grass, and the fossil resins, was 
taken and mixed with white lead and zinc oxide (zinc 
white), exposed to the sunlight for a short time and 
then placed in a dark closet for varying periods from 
six weeks to three months. In every instance the 
white turned yellow; sometimes a bright canary yel- 
low, sometimes a dirty yellowish brown, but the yel- 
low effect was always obtained. A similar line of 
experiments was made in which gum damar was 
dissolved in turpentine, naphtha and benzol, and 
the results carefully noted. Gum damar and turpen- 
tine showed only an exceedingly slight decomposition, 
and gum damar containing a small percentage of 
benzol and a large percentage of naphtha showed no 
decomposition. The human eye is not very sensitive 
to these shades, but fortunately we have the pho- 
tographic plate. Photographs taken of these various 
mixtures on plates which are not over sensitive to 
yellow show up these results with better effect than 
the human eye can discern them in the original 
chlorophyll experiment. 

Another line of experiments was carried out, in 
which bleached linseed oil was used. This turned 
exceedingly yellow in three months, but when ex- 
posed for .three months to the bright sunlight it be- 
came brilliant white again, and upon being placed in 
a dark closet for another three months no change took 
place. Those parts of the painted experiment which 


Permanent Painting 

had been bleached by the sunlight remained white 
in the dark closet at the end of the experiment. This 
would, therefore, prove that when a picture has turned 
yellow it can safely be exposed to the sunlight in 
order to bring it back to its natural brilliancy, pro- 
vided, of course, that no part of it has been painted 
with asphaltum or bitumen, for the asphaltum and 
bitumen instead of bleaching in the light become 
black. To those who are interested in this photo-chem- 
ical experiment, the author refers to his paper on "The 
Influence of Sunlight on Paints and Varnishes," Jour- 
nal Society of Chemical Industry, April 15, 1908, No. 
7, Vol. XXVII. 

Nearly all of the varnishes, with few exceptions, 
contribute largely to this deterioration of oil paint- 
ings, because the coloring matter in a dark place or 
away from the brilliant light changes from a neutral 
or invisible to a yellowish tint, which is due to a direct 
decomposition of chlorophyll into one of its lower 
bodies. A similar line of experiments were conducted 
with such resins as Manila copal, West Coast copal, 
and Zanzibar copal, all of which turned yellow even 
though no linseed oil was present. It is, therefore, 
easy to conclude that these and all fossil resins con- 
tain coloring matters similar to those present in grass, 
flaxseed, and in some instances, turpentine. 

Furthermore, all of these fossil resins when used 
for making varnish are reduced or fluxed in a solution 
of linseed oil. The varnishes which, however, do not 


Permanent Painting 

show this same effect are the alcohol varnishes com- 
posed of solutions of bleached shellac, sandarac, and 
mastic, although these show also some slight tendency 
toward turning yellow. The one resin which, however, 
resisted the action of darkening when mixed with 
white lead was gum damar. As there are three well 
known varieties of this gum used in the arts, the au- 
thor has found that Batavia, Singapore and Pedang, 
when selected for brilliancy of color in their original 
state, are the safest to use, but there are varieties of 
these three gums which are originally yellow and 
should be avoided either as a varnish or as a medium 
for oil painting. The objection may be urged that 
the solution of gum damar is not sufficiently binding 
as compared with linseed oil, but to this the answer 
must be made that an oil painting is never exposed 
to the elements and is certainly more tenacious and 
less liable to decomposition than the media used by 
the ancients such as white of egg, mucilaginous mat- 
ter, etc. We have authentic records where paintings 
executed by the Romans with poor and weak media 
have lasted for upwards of twenty centuries. 

Of the solid white pigments, which induce the 
decomposition of oil and varnishes, white lead is the 
strongest in its action and zinc sulphide, or lithopone, 
is the weakest. It has been urged that lithopone, which 
is a mixture of zinc sulphide and barium sulphate 
barium sulphate being the old permanent white or 
blanc fixe should be substituted for all white pig- 


Permanent Painting 

ments in oil painting, but this cannot be urged at pres- 
ent for the reason that the majority of the lithopories 
are acted upon by light and turn gray, although there 
are a variety of patents for the manufacture of lith- 
opone which are alleged to be permanent. On exam- 
ining these we find that their brilliancy is superin- 
duced by the addition of a soluble salt such as nitrate 
of soda, and when lithopone, either according to the 
special American patents or the German patents, is 
mixed with gum damar solution no change takes 
place, but when mixed with linseed oil, either bleached 
or unbleached, the soluble salt produces the same 
effect as white lead in so far that it reduces the color- 
ing matter from a neutral and invisible tint to a yellow 
or yellowish pigment, and, therefore, no advantage is 
gained at present by the use of this so-called perma- 
nent lithopone. Zinc oxide, or zinc white, is therefore, 
as yet, the most permanent pigment, although perma- 
nent white or blanc fixe is absolutely inert but it has 
the inherent weakness that it has no hiding power and 
is really more of a glaze than an opaque pigment. 

However, if linseed oil is insisted upon by the paint- 
er the raw, unbleached, unrefined product should be 
used for it is reasonable to assume that it cannot 
grow any darker as long as the coloring matter is not 
visibly hidden, but may improve, for upon exposure 
the coloring matter will surely bleach, and upon re- 
placing the painting in a poorly lighted room it will 
not grow any darker than it originally was when the 


Permanent Painting 

painter used it. Some painters use poppy oil, which is 
almost colorless ; other painters use walnut oil, but the 
author finds that while poppy oil and walnut oil are 
not so prone to become yellow with age, they never- 
theless do become yellow and have in addition the 
fault of drying exceedingly slowly, which interferes 
largely with the progress of the painting. The driers' 
that painters use are also to be avoided. The one 
color, megilp, which contains both lead and manganese, 
frequently exhibits a dirty pink, and the sugar of lead 
drier turns the oil yellow even quicker than white 
lead does. 

Summing up the facts before us, it is reasonable to 
conclude that in order to make a painting permanent 
a medium like damar or mastic varnish, which has 
back of it a long history and is not experimental, may 
be advocated for general use as a varnish with which 
to glaze a painting and preserve its permanency. It 
has very few defects and much in its favor. In looking 
over the works of the Flemish artists, particularly 
those by the Van Eycks, which may be seen in the 
London galleries, it is quite evident that all these 
painters used a medium other than tempera. It is 
exceedingly likely that the medium contained little 
linseed oil, and possibly a varnish composed of an 
easily soluble gum, either like damar or mastic. 


Permanent Painting 



IT is very interesting to note that the little which 
is written on this subject varies with the actual 
facts presented in the case, and in addition is 
relatively incomplete. Nearly all writers give, as the 
cause of the cracking of paintings, two or three or- 
dinary phenomena, when, as a matter of fact, the 
cause of the cracking of paintings may be due to a 
large variety of causes. The following are the prin- 
cipal causes for the cracking of paintings : 

1. The application of such pigments as, for in- 
stance, umber or zinc white over lampblack, graphite, 
black lead, asphaltum or lake. 

2. The application to a picture of a varnish over 
a surface that has not been thoroughly dried. 

3. The effect of dry atmosphere on a painting, 
which contracts the canvas and leaves the paint film 
in its original size. 

4. The unequal tension or compression of a can- 
vas due to moisture. 

5. The application of a flat drying paint over a 
glossy paint. 


Photo-micrograph of a section of an oil painting shoeing 
cracks. A. A. is a photograph of the warp of the can- 
vas. The oblong white surfaces are thin films of paint 
which are cracked through tension and drying. 

Permanent Painting 


. . I 

ier of fact, the 

The fo! 

:e cracking of PC 
ation of such r 
r or zinc white over Ian- 
ohaltum or lake, 
plication to a pictu 
t has no 

dry atr 
the canvas and 


;o rtqut^o1oH<4 

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6. The application of megilp over a soft ground. 

7. The use of bitumen as a glaze. 

I. We learn from practical painters who apply 
colors and varnishes to the surfaces of carriages, au- 
tomobiles and railway cars, that a proper ground must 
be prepared so that each coat will be dependent upon 
the other, and that the priming coat shall be harder 
than the layer above it. Practical painters, however, 
never have surfaces like canvas to paint, excepting 
when these surfaces are directly applied by means 
of a glutinant to a wall or similar foundation. We 
notice, even in the climate of North America, where 
the temperature variation is about 130 R, that the 
paint film on nearly all vehicles is permanent without 
cracking or peeling for several years. The principal 
cause is that a priming coat is applied of a hard drying 
paint which is rubbed down so as to present a smooth 
and uniform layer, and that a gloss coat is never placed 
over a gloss coat, but a gloss coat is always applied 
over a flat coat, in which case we have what is known 
as a "mechanical bond." 

Canvas made of linen is exceedingly susceptible to 
the influence of moisture, and prepared canvas is 
generally sold with a coating that is sufficiently flat 
and has a better grain so that the first layer at least 
takes good hold. In order, therefore, to prevent crack- 
ing and to remedy it when it has taken place, it is 
essential to apply a good coat of paint on the back of 


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the canvas, or to mount the finished picture upon 
another sheet of canvas which has been previously 
painted. The paint which has been found most suit- 
able for the prevention of the absorption of moisture 
by a finished picture, and which in many instances will 
close up minute hairline cracks that have already 
started, is a mixture composed of one pound of red 
lead, dry, one pound white zinc, ground in oil, thinned 
with sufficient raw oil and turpentine to make a ready 
for use paint, having the consistency of cream. This 
mixture cannot be kept ready for use, because the red 
lead will combine with the oil and form a species of ce- 
ment which dries very hard, and yet has some flex- 
ibility. The application of such a mixture to the back 
of a canvas makes it impervious to moisture and at- 
mospheric influences, and preserves an otherwise weak 

When the cracking occurs through the influence 
exerted on the back of the canvas, it is due absolutely 
to an engineering condition which is known as "com- 
pression and tension." The accompanying diagram 
illustrates this fact, so that we may have cracking 
which is entirely due to a curvature of the painted 
surface which is known as tension, or a compression 
of the canvas side, which is known as compression. 

The artistic painter can demonstrate this for him- 
self, if he will take an ordinary kodak film, which is 
perfectly flat, and paint one side of it with a mixture 
of, say, zinc white or reduced with turpentine only, 





The Engineering features of a painting at rest in which the centre 
line is the neutral axis. 




The canvas in compression and the paint in tension, the tension 
producing cracks owing to the expansion of the paint films. 



The paint in compression and the canvas in tension, which is the 
cause of paint films being forced from the canvas as indicated by 
the arrow. 

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fasten it to a board so that it will not curl, and 
when it is dry, bend the surface which has been 
painted in an outward direction, whereupon he will 
find that the painted surface will show minute delicate 
cracks, which explains the theory of tension, and the 
theory of compression. The side in tension which is 
the painted side, invariably cracks. This then goes 
far toward explaining why pictures painted on metal 
or on wood have stood for centuries and have not 
cracked, and why unprotected pictures painted on can- 
vas have cracked. Even wood panels are better pro- 
tected when they are varnished on the reverse side 
than when they are permitted to warp. 

The author cites as an illustration a painting by 
Michau on an oak panel which had for two centuries 
remained evidently in a perfectly flat condition in Bel- 
gium, but became badly warped when brought over 
to America, and only the application on the edges and 
the reverse side of two coats of the red lead and zinc 
paint, prevented what might have been a bad crack- 
ing of the panel itself. The climate in the winter in 
the United States shows an abnormally dry condition, 
and in the summer an abnormally moist condition, 
so that a painting which will curve outwardly in the 
winter through the contraction of the underside, will 
curve inwardly in the summer time, and this alter- 
nate bending inwardly and outwardly would eventually 
show some cracks. 

2. One of the most fruitful surfaces for the crack-' 


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ing of pictures is the varnishing of a picture before it 
is dry, and complaints are frequently heard that some 
varnishes are less liable to crack than others. This 
is largely the case with the alcohol varnishes which 
show a tendency to crack, and owing to their brittle- 
ness they should only be used under certain conditions. 
As the alcohol varnishes dry by evaporation they dry 
very rapidly. Many of the paints expand in the drying 
and some few of them ultimately contract, so that 
in either case varnishing even after apparent dryness 
with an alcohol varnish will produce very bad cracks. 
It has been generally stated, as an axiom, that a pic- 
ture should be six months old before it be varnished. 
This is merely an arbitrary figure, and in every instance 
it is far better to wait a year if it can be conveniently 
done, than to varnish a picture in six months. Where, 
for instance, a very slow drying pigment like any one 
of the lakes, lampblack, black lead, etc., are used, 
and the picture is varnished before these pigments are 
thoroughly dry, cracking is bound to ensue. We there- 
fore have the familiar phenomenon of a varnished 
picture which cracks in some places and is perfectly 
intact in others. This is due entirely to the so-called 
selective drying of the pigment itself. It is therefore 
wise under any circumstance to expose a picture to a 
current of air and to the bright light before varnishing. 
3. This can always be obviated by properly paint- 
ing the underside of the canvas. Where a painting of 
the underside is not desirable, the picture can be 


Permanent Painting 

mounted either upon metal or stretch 

of canvas by means of a mixture of white lead and 
Venice turpentine. 

4, The climatic influence which has be' 
described, and which will cause crack; 
on canvas, is more noticeable in climates like 
the eastern part of the United States than 
Germany or England where the atmosphere 
tively moist the year round. Paintings cat- 
preserved in any climate when they are prop 
tected against dampness or dry air. If the 
is applied had the sam 
which is technically ca* 

efficient of expansion," as the pigments the 
there would be no trouble from this source. 
paint film of an oil painting is exceedingly 
absorb moisture, and when the air is dry it 
the moisture just as slowly, whereas ca 
very readily and dries out very readily. 
ticularly dry wood, absorbs moisture readily 
slowly than canvas. There are a large n > 
paintings on copper which have been ter 
served for many centuries, so that where a 
can use either well seasoned wood or c -; ; 
advisableTo do so. 

5. -iff 

n>qo 9-t) $}im ^jrt. .rtfeui iiib 

tive drying qualities of paints an 

for the painter to follow the 
The tollowing experiment v ~" f "" 

Phofo-micro < raph of cracks in a painting, and dirt or 
dust encysted in the varnish. These cracks are open 

Permanent Painting 

mounted either upon metal or upon another stretch 
of canvas by means of a mixture of white lead and 
Venice turpentine. 

4. The climatic influence which has been previously 
described, and which will cause cracks particularly 
on canvas, is more noticeable in climates like those in 
the eastern part of the United States than it is in 
Germany or England where the atmosphere is rela- 
tively moist the year round. Paintings can be best 
preserved in any climate when they are properly pro- 
tected against dampness or dry air. If the material 
upon which the paint is applied had the same expan- 
sion and contraction which is technically called "co- 
efficient of expansion," as the pigments themselves, 
there would be no trouble from this source, but the 
paint film of an oil painting is exceedingly slow to 
absorb moisture, and when the air is dry it gives up 
the moisture just as slowly, whereas canvas absorbs 
very readily and dries out very readily. Wood, par- 
ticularly dry wood, absorbs moisture readily but more 
slowly than canvas. There are a large number of old 
paintings on copper which have been technically pre- 
served for many centuries, so that where a painter 
can use either well seasoned wood or copper, it is 
advisable to do so. 

5. In the proper chapter (see page 187), the rela- 
tive drying qualities of paints are given, and it is wise 
for the painter to follow the rules laid down. 

The following experiment will illustrate a fruitful 


Permanent Painting 

source of cracks in painting and many other pigments 
will act in a similar manner to a greater or lesser de- 
gree. Materials like minium, which is red lead, or 
burnt umber, dry with great rapidity, particularly 
when turpentine is added. Apply either one of these 
pigments over a ground work of pigments composed 
of lampblack or a lake, and it will be readily noted 
that within two weeks the top coat will contract and 
the bottom coat will expand, so that, because these two 
pigments do not dry co-ordinately, cracks will develop 
and the surface will resemble alligator hide, sometimes 
minutely, and sometimes with scales almost as large 
as those of the alligator hide itself. 

6. The use of megilp. 

This refers to the previous paragraph, and comes 
under the same heading, for megilp is a powerful 
oxidizing agent, and will produce a cracking when 
mixed with any pigment if placed over a soft drying 
ground. The same phenomenon results if megilp is 
used excessively with even a slow drying color such 
as madder lake or lampblack. Megilp, irrespective 
of this fact, is a material which should not be used 
by any painter, for in addition to its rapid drying 
qualities, it has a destructive influence on many of 
the finer colors. 

7. Bitumen as a glaze has been productive of more 
damage than painters are aware of. It will produce 
cracks over almost any pigment to which it be ap- 
plied, for it dries principally by evaporation, whereas 


Permanent Painting 

the ground upon which it is placed dries by oxidation. 
Its photo-chemical defects have been described under 
the heading of asphaltum, page 89, and need not be re- 
peated here, but its physical defects are so patent, and 
it has been productive of so much disaster in the pro- 
duction of cracks, owing to unequal tension which 
it produces, that it should never be used. 


Permanent Painting 



IT is obvious that the best foundation for any pic- 
ture is a sheet of metal. The next choice is a 
panel of oak or mahogany thoroughly seasoned, 
and last and least, a stretch of canvas. Copper has 
been used for centuries as a foundation for pictures, 
and as such cannot be improved upon, particularly if 
the copper be rolled out sufficiently thin and fastened 
to a well seasoned piece of wood. Next in choice and 
perhaps just as good, is zinc, but as both copper and 
zinc are exceedingly smooth, it is always advisable 
to roughen the surface by means of sand or emery 
powder, which gives it the appearance of ground 
glass, after which it takes the first coat of paint with 
perfect ease. 

If artistic painters would only follow the precept and 
.experience of coach painters, who, from time imme- 
morial have followed the same rule, pictures would 
be much more permanent and less liable to crack. 
The coach painter, and in this category must be in- 
cluded the railway car painter and the automobile 


Painting on mahogany panel showing serious cracks 
produced by varnishing the picture before the underlying 
coat was sufficiently dry. 

(Painting in the possession of the author.) 

Permanent Painting 


I obvious that the best f< 
ture is a sheet of n 

oak or mahogany the 

and least, a stretch Copper has 

r centuries as a -res, 

cannot be i 
:opper be rolled out 

to a well seasoned piece < and 

Iways advisable 

the ap: and 



The in ~ 



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painter, prepare the metal or wooden surface by first 
rubbing with sandpaper, emery cloth or pumice stone. 
Any imperfections in the surface are generally re- 
moved by the application of a first coating of what 
is known as "rough stuff." Rough stuff may be a 
finely powdered mineral such as slate or silicious 
clay, to which a little lampblack and white lead is 
added. The medium is not oil but Japan varnish, 
which is composed of a hard, quick-drying varnish 
containing very little oil. After two or three days, 
or sooner, this coating is sufficiently dry to be rubbed 
again, and a coat of white lead and lampblack is then 
applied, or pure white lead mixed with the same Japan 
varnish which is known as "Gold Size Japan," or 
"Coach Makers Japan." After this second coat is 
rubbed it presents a good surface for subsequent paint- 
ing, which is exceedingly hard, but yet not brittle. 
This description refers, of course, to painting on a 
solid foundation like wood or metal, for on canvas 
such a treatment is ill advised owing to the unequal 
expansion and contraction between the canvas and the 
hard coating of such a priming paint. 

From experiments which the author has made, it 
would appear that a sheet of aluminum -j^ of an inch 
thick rubbed with either linseed oil and finely pow- 
dered emery, or with pumice stone and water, pre- 
sents a surface upon which a mixture of zinc white and 
white lead may be applied, forming a surface most de- 
sirable for subsequent painting, and giving a film which 


Permanent Painting 

should be permanent for all time. Under no circum- 
stances should the priming coat of any picture dry 
with a high gloss, otherwise no union takes place be- 
tween the film of paint and the metal to which it be 
applied. The unequal expansion between an elastic 
coat and a rigid metal are very undesirable, but in 
spite of any good advice that may be given on this 
subject, painters will continue to paint on canvas, 
and such being the case, the best advice to give is 
to follow the precepts of the old Flemish painters, and 
paste the canvas either on a wood or metal foundation 
with white lead and Venice turpentine. 

Where canvas is mounted on a wooden stretcher, and 
is sufficiently dry, the best application for the back 
is a hard drying semi-elastic paint, composed of red 
lead, white lead and zinc oxide, raw oil and turpentine. 
This should be applied until a thick glossy coating is 
obtained. Such a coating prevents cracks, and in- 
hibits any chemical action through the underside of 
the canvas. 

The purchase of ready made canvas is not always 
to be recommended. This statement refers to the 
canvas ready for immediate painting. Where a paintj 
er has the time a canvas may be purchased mounted 
upon a proper stretcher and treated in the following 
manner: A first coat of white lead is applied to the 
front and back of the canvas, and then a second coat 
of zinc oxide on the front of the canvas is properly 
rubbed down and smoothed. This makes an admirable 


Permanent Painting 

surface which has sufficient tooth to take subsequent 

It has often been advised to prime canvas with a 
glue size, but the glue is continually subject to the 
influence of moisture, which it will absorb on a damp 
day and release again on a dry day, so that continual 
contraction and expansion take place, which is one of 
the causes of the cracking of paintings. A good hard 
coat of paint composed of white lead, more zinc and 
coach painter's japan properly applied to the surface of 
canvas will, in a few days, lay the lint sufficiently hard 
so that it can be sandpapered smooth. The next coat, 
which should also be a coat that does not dry glossy 
and that contains sufficient turpentine, will make a 
perfectly smooth foundation, and a paint of this sort 
is less subject to expansion and contraction than one 
painted on a glue size. Any painter can prepare a 
dozen canvases after this method, and if they are placed 
in the sun and allowed to ripen with age, they even- 
tually become hard without becoming brittle. 

For a canvas which is to be rolled up, a totally 
different method must be pursued. Such a canvas 
must have a very flexible foundation, and this can best 
be obtained by using raw linseed oil with a mixture 
of white lead and lampblack as a first coat. This mix- 
ture will take several days to dry. It should be very 
thinly applied, each coat containing less lampblack 
until a white surface is obtained. The rear side of 
the canvas where it is to be rolled up, should be treated 


Permanent Painting 

solely with a coat of raw linseed oil and nothing else. 
A canvas so treated will remain flexible for many 


Permanent Painting 



CANVAS for oil painting is stretched upon large 
frames, and receives a sizing coat of glue and 
water. After this sizing coat is dry, three coats 
of white lead in oil slightly tinted with black to 
produce a gray color are applied. The first coat is 
generally a very thick mixture of lead, oil, turpentine 
and drier which is applied to the canvas by means 
of a stick, and then scraped off with a curved steel 
knife. This is done for the purpose of pressing the 
material into the fibre of the canvas, and likewise 
for the purpose of producing a perfectly smooth sur- 
face. The two following coats are usually applied 
by means of brushes, and the material is thinned down 
with turpentine so that it will dry perfectly flat. The 
canvas is then stripped from the frame and rolled up, 
and after a few months becomes decidedly brittle. 
Up to date there has been no improvement in the 
preparation of canvas and it is difficult to believe that 
in this age of progress the preparation of canvas is 
still a hand-made procedure. Canvas ought really to 


Permanent Painting 

be coated on both sides, and the coatings should be 
so very flexible that the question of cracking when 
the canvas is rolled up should be entirely eliminated. 

The use of wood panels is not to be recommended in 
America, unless the wood is thoroughly seasoned. 
After it has been seasoned and planed, it should be 
allowed to soak for several weeks in a linseed oil 
varnish in order that it may absorb sufficient material 
to prevent future warping. The hygroscopic condi- 
tions in America are totally different from those pre- 
vailing in Europe. In Europe a painting on wood 
will remain perfect for centuries, because the amount 
of moisture in the air remains fairly uniform for a 
given locality, but even on the sea coasts in the United 
States the moisture conditions in the atmosphere vary 
so remarkably that it is below normal in the winter 
time, and above normal in the summer. Humidity in 
the atmosphere is generally expressed by arbitrary 
numbers, 100 representing a saturated condition of 
the atmosphere during a rain storm. Fifty is exceed- 
ingly dry, but in the winter on a clear day the humid- 
ity in the atmosphere is expressed by the figure 30. 
In such an atmosphere materials may be said to be 

An oil painting on wood, unless it be properly pro- 
tected either by successive coats of paint on all sides, 
or has been previously soaked in oil, varnish or shellac, 
will warp in the winter time with a curvature on the 
side of the painting, the reverse side being convex. 


Permanent Painting 

The result is that the obverse or painted side becomes 

It is therefore preferable to paint on metal or on 
the composition known as academy board, which is a 
wood pulp or paper surface formed by cementing to- 
gether several thicknesses of pasteboard or card- 
board, and applying a coat of oil paint on what ulti- 
mately becomes the obverse side. 


Permanent Painting 



THERE is perhaps no subject on which so little 
is definitely known as the renovation or cleaning 
of oil paintings, for the reason that no set rules 
can be given. It is essential that anyone who at- 
tempts to clean a picture should have some knowledge 
of the pigments, oils and varnishes that were used; 
otherwise good results are not obtained, and in many 
instances the painting is ruined. If we attempt to 
clean a picture with soap and water, which is very 
frequently done, and it happens to be an old painting 
of the tempera type, soap and water would dissolve the 
entire picture with ruinous results, but if the painting 
is made on wood or metal such preliminary clean- 
ing can be resorted to, but no strong friction or at- 
trition should take place on account of the danger of 
abrasion. If, on the other hand, we attempted to 
clean a picture with wood alcohol and turpentine, and 
it were painted with the same colors and media used 
by Vibert, and recommended by him, the picture 
would be almost instantly dissolved and effaced from 


Permanent Painting 

its canvas. It therefore becomes imperative to ex- 
periment on the edge of a picture, preferably that 
part which is usually protected by the frame, with 
various solvents, in order to determine exactly what 
will take place. 

As far as the remedy for cracks is concerned, the 
reader is referred to the chapter on "The Cause of 
the Cracking of Pictures ; Its Prevention and Remedy." 
Therefore, this chapter will only deal with renovation, 
and it is assumed that the person who attempts to 
clean a painting is familiar with the materials used, 
and inasmuch as perhaps ninety-nine paintings out 
of one hundred that look like oil paintings are oil 
paintings, the remedies given by the author are for 
this class of pictures entirely. 

The first essential is to determine the mount, whether 
it is wood, academy board or canvas. If it is can- 
vas, two courses may be pursued ; first, paint the back 
of the picture (see page 41), or second, mount the 
canvas with a mixture of white lead and Venice tur- 
pentine on another canvas. There are a large 
number of chemical solvents which remove old 
varnish, but these should only be used by a 
skilled operator. The most important of these chem- 
ical solvents are acetone, benzine, naphtha, benzol, 
amyl acetate, amyl alcohol (fusel oil), ethyl 
alcohol (grain alcohol), terpineol, methyl alcohol 
(wood alcohol), and various mixtures of these sub- 
stances. The least harmful and the weakest is or- 


Permanent Painting 

dinary benzine, such as is used for cleaning gloves and 
garments, but it is not sufficiently strong to dissolve 
old dried cracked varnish. At the same time, a solvent 
which is strong enough to dissolve cracked varnish 
may likewise be strong enough to destroy the painting 
itself. Whether the picture is varnished or not, or- 
dinary wood alcohol is taken either on a clean cot- 
ton rag or a sponge, and lightly rubbed in one cor- 
ner. If it be varnished, the wood alcohol wi 1 ! 
very likely dissolve the varnish without touching 
the painting, but if there is any difficulty in dissolving 
the varnish, a mechanical mixture of turpentine and 
wood alcohol would have to be used, and as a general 
rule this will take off all the varnish. Forcible abra- 
sion must never be resorted to, for any wet rag will, 
as a rule, take off some of the paint. The dried lin- 
seed oil or other drying oil film is not soluble in tur- 
pentine, but is attacked by wood alcohol after pro- 
longed use. Therefore, if pure turpentine will cleanse 
a picture, it is wise to let it go at that, and as a gen- 
eral rule, assuming always that the picture is an oil 
painting, a stiff brush will very frequently aid in 
cleansing almost every part of a picture without the 
addition of wood alcohol, so that we have here only 
two re-agents which are necessary. It is necessary to 
warn everyone not to try the so-called paint removers, 
benzol or carbon tetrachloride mixtures which are 
sold, because in many instances the use of these ma- 
terials is very harmful because the solvent action is 


Permanent Painting 

entirely too great. Ordinary naphtha or gasoline, such 
as is used for cleaning gloves, can be very safely recom- 
mended, because its solvent action is not as great as 
that of turpentine and wood alcohol, so that, with the 
aid of these three materials, almost any varnish can be 
removed, and any adherent foreign substance easily 
washed off. 

The use of soap and water is recommended by many, 
but this is always more or less dangerous unless the 
soap is absolutely neutral. It always finds its way into 
cracks, is absorbed by the canvas and the under- 
lying paint, so that in many instances a painting be- 
comes so badly buckled that, even though it is cleaned, 
the cracks and defects are magnified. (Great care 
must be taken not to use a soap which is alkaline. The 
soaps which are neutral are principally the shaving 
soaps, Ivory Soap, and genuine castile soap). The 
soap may be mixed with tepid water and applied with 
a sponge to the surface of the painting, thereby re- 
moving the thickened dust and dirt from its surface. 
An application of this kind will seldom, if ever, do 
any harm, except on a painting which is badly cracked, 
and where water is liable to soak into the canvas and 
swell it, or where the painting is based on an aqueous 

Colors which have become darkened with age or 
affected by the sulphur fumes of the atmosphere, like 
flake white, and English or chrome vermilion, can 
only be properly renovated if the surface is abraded, 


Permanent Painting 

and this can be frequently accomplished by means 
of a ball made of the inside of a fresh loaf of rye 
bread. The ball is gently rubbed on the picture after 
it has been cleaned with soap and water, and this is 
to be done in a good light. The rubbing given by 
means of the ball of bread will remove the outer layer 
and bring the color up to its original brilliancy. 

It is essential that experiments be tried on a very 
small part, preferably in a corner or on an edge of the 
picture with various solvents, in order to determine 
whether any harm would be done or not. After wash- 
ing a picture it may be rubbed with a clean woolen 
rag which has been dipped in pure spirits of turpen- 
tine, for spirits of turpentine will very often dissolve 
a varnish like mastic or damar but will not attack the 
dry linseed oil film of the painting beneath. The same 
may be said of benzine. A mixture of benzine and 
turpentine will frequently do no harm, but its appli- 
cation must always be followed by washing with tur- 
pentine alone. If thick films of varnish still remain, 
and are unattacked, they had better be left alone and 
the entire picture re-varnished with a harmless medium 
like damar or mastic varnish. 

The use of stale bread handled as an eraser, or the 
use of soft rubber should not be resorted to, provided 
turpentine, benzine or wood alcohol will remove the 
surface dirt and varnish. Any form of abrasion may 
become a menace for the obvious reason, that, if on 
a flesh color madder lake was used as a glaze, it takes 


Permanent Painting 

very little rubbing to remove the one one-thousandth 
of an inch of madder lake which has been applied for 
a given effect, and which when removed leaves a 
ghastly result. 

Paintings that have turned yellow with age are best 
treated by first placing them in the bright sunlight for 
two or three days before the application or washing 
with turpentine. In many instances where a brilliant 
sky blue has turned to a dirty olive color, the sun 
will bring back much of the pristine brilliancy, and 
the rubbing with turpentine and a small percentage 
of wood alcohol will bring out the colors sometimes 
more brilliantly than they were on the day that they 
were applied. 

Where sulphur fumes have decomposed the lead 
color and formed a brownish result, chemists have 
recommended the use of peroxide of hydrogen, and 
while this may be theoretically the proper method to 
pursue, it is not necessary, and sometimes dangerous, 
for the reason that even though peroxide of hydrogen 
will bring back flake white and chrome yellow to 
their original color, it may bleach an adjacent lake 
beyond redemption, and as these sulphur de-composi- 
tions of color are usually on the surface, the wood 
alcohol and turpentine treatment with very slight abra- 
sion, will produce all the results necessary. The 
cleaning and renovation of pictures in the hands of 
an intelligent person is not a very difficult problem, 
but it is very easy to spoil any good painting by the 


Permanent Painting 

use of nostrums and recipes which are destructive in 
their effect. 

Very often a good picture assumes a bluish haze 
commonly called "bloom," which remains on it for 
years. It is due largely to the absorption of moisture 
by the varnish itself, and can easily be removed by 
a gentle application of two or three coats of turpen- 
tine, each successively wiped off and then finally var- 
nished with a good hard varnish like amber or a 
mixture of amber, mastic and damar. Paintings that 
have been glazed with asphaltum must, however, be 
handled differently, for in the chapter on the "As- 
phaltum and Bitumen," it will be noted that as- 
phaltum becomes darker with exposure rather than 
lighter, due to the liberation of carbon. This can be 
almost invariably removed by slight rubbing with 
turpentine and benzine, but inasmuch as it evidently 
was the artist's original intention to produce a different 
color effect by means of this glazing, the picture will 
have a totally different tone value and effect when the 
smut remaining from the asphaltum is removed, and 
the restoration of a picture of this kind should be 
given to some painter for re-glazing after the smutty 
residue of the asphaltum bitumen is thoroughly washed 

After a picture has been thoroughly cleaned and 
bleached by means of sunlight, it is essential to var- 
nish it immediately. Two coats of thin varnish prop- 
erly dried, particularly where the second coat is ap- 


Photo-micrograph of cracks invisible to the naked eye 
showing encysted matter and fissures. 

Permane mting 

ch are destructive in 

nes a bluish haze 

,' which remain? on it for 

largely to the a' ^ture 

removed by 
hard \ 

vtre of amber, mastic and da that 

have been glazed with asphaltum rr /be 

handled differently, for in the chapter on the "As- 
phaltum and Bitumen/' it will be noted that as- 
phaltum becomes darker with exposure rather than 
lighter, due to the libers n be 

almost invariably removed vith 

turpentine and benzine, but vidently 

was the artist's original i: ve a different 

color effect by means of picture will 

have a totally different t< \ effect 

; remaining from tli ami 

the restoration of a 

M to some paintc utty 

'ue of the asphab hed 

\tre has .ea and 


' '$' prop- 
!>afiieulai~ "' ' ' ; coat is ap- 

/::::: : ... . 
:.:.. '::..:/.... 

Permanent Painting 

plied after the first coat is thoroughly dry, is by far 
preferable to the application of one heavy coat of 


Permanent Painting 


FROM time immemorial painters have depicted 
scenes as they saw them. A blue sky was painted 
with a mixture of white and blue. A sunset of 
yellow and orange was painted with yellow and a 
mixture of yellow and red. The principle upon which 
all painting is executed is that there are three primary 
pigments, red, yellow and blue, which, with the ad- 
dition of white and black, furnish all the tints neces- 
sary for the production of any given shade, or mix- 
ture of complementary colors, so that if a green is 
desired, yellow and blue may be mixed, and if a light 
green is wanted, white is added, and if a dark green 
is wanted either more blue or black is added. 

Without going into the discussion of the physics 
of this subject, it may be accepted that the result of 
the mixture of two pigments is a subtractive phenom- 
enon. In other words, when yellow and blue are 
mixed, the yellow and the blue are simply subtracted 
from the white light which falls on them with the re- 
sult that green is obtained, and carrying out this theory 
still further, if red, yellow and blue are mixed in their 
proper proportions, each of these colors is subtracted 


Permanent Painting 

from the white light with the result that a pigment is 
obtained which produces an approach to black, and 
black is regarded as a minus or zero quantity. 

In the blending of light we have the opposite effect, 
so that when we take three colored lights, or allow the 
rays which pass through sheets of glass composed 
of scarlet, green and violet, to impinge upon each 
other, we do not obtain a subtractive color but an 
additive color; that is, these three colors falling upon 
the same point form white. In other words, the sum 
total of the colored rays of scarlet, green and violet 
when added together are white, so that we have the 
phenomenon that the primary pigments mixed to- 
gether form black, and the primary color sensations 
form white, and that the primary color sensations 
are not identical with the primary colors but lie be- 
tween or adjacent to the primary colors of the spec- 
trum. That is, the color sensations are scarlet, green 
and violet, while the primary colors are red, yellow 
and blue. The spectrum, as is well known, is com- 
posed of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and 
violet. The pigments may always be expressed in the 
form of paint and the color sensations may always be 
produced by light. 

The Lumiere Bros., of Lyons, France, having 
worked upon the theory of the primary color sensa- 
tions, developed the now well known process of color 
photography. They arranged close together colored 
starch grains tinted with transparent dyes, so that 


Permanent Painting 

when these starch grains are viewed by transmitted 
light it is impossible to discern the scarlet from the 
green or the violet, the result being that the mixture 
produces what we call "white light." In photograph- 
ing a yellow flower, and examining the yellow under 
the microscope we find that it is composed of equal 
parts of scarlet and green. True impressionistic 
painting is based upon this phenomena with the prop- 
er modifications for the obvious reason that it is prac- 
tically impossible for any painter to put such small 
dots or points of pigments of green and violet so that 
when viewed at a distance they appear sky blue, and 
yet when we take green and violet light, or green and 
violet microscopic particles so small that the eye can- 
not deferentiate, the resulting color is sky blue, and 
not a mixture which the painter would expect it to 
be, because, as has been already explained, the mix- 
ture of pigments is subtractive and the mixture 
of light and light sensations is additive. If, there- 
fore, on a gray or neutral ground, a painter will paint 
small patches of alternate pale green and pale violet 
and such a composite is viewed from a distance of 
fifteen or twenty feet or more, the resulting impression 
will be sky blue. True impressionistic painting is 
based entirely upon such phenomena. 

There is one other influence which causes impression- 
ism, which is due entirely to a defect of the eye. Those 
who have been in a photographic dark room, which is 
illuminated entirely by a red light, will have often no- 


Permanent Painting 

ticed that upon emerging from the dark room into 
the white light, everything appeared green. This is 
caused by the fact that in the first place, the physical 
power of the nerve-fibrils of the eye which are sensi- 
tive to red are temporarily exhausted, and the eye 
sees only the complementary color which is green. If, 
therefore, a brilliant red sunset is painted by means of 
the massive application of scarlet and red, the foliage 
may be gray, but after viewing it steadily for a few 
moments it appears perfectly green, so that we have 
a green impression where it really does not exist, be- 
cause the eye complements one color for another. 

Unfortunately the theory of impressionistic paint- 
ing has not been properly disseminated and not prop- 
erly taught, so that we have some of the vilest and 
most impossible attempts at impressionistic painting 
which are based not upon science, but upon the fads 
which exist. Human beings are prone to say that 
they admire a daub because some one else who is sup- 
posed to know has pronounced it good, when as a 
matter of fact, it possesses no merit whatever, and its 
entire workmanship is so crude and so impossible that 
it would make little or no difference even if it were 
hung upside down. 

There is a remarkable future for true impression- 
istic painting, but there is no future and no "raison 
d'etre" for the impossible daubs which masquerade 
under the name of impressionistic painting, and if a 
painter will study the theory as propounded by Ducos 


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Dunaron, which is not very difficult to learn, and will 
study the chemistry of light as propounded by Vogel 
and Rood, he or she will be able with a little practice 
to master the new branch of the art which is coupled 
with a science. The danger of applying masses of 
paint in promontory patches which are likely to dry 
rapidly and crack or peel have their own significance, 
for impressionistic painting may be plastic, but its 
plasticity should really be produced by means of light 
and shade effects. 


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THE two oldest solvents known are turpentine and 
lavender oil, but from the data at hand, it is 
very likely that lavender oil was known many 
centuries before turpentine. Chemically, lavender oil 
is analogous to turpentine, in fact, it is a species of 
turpentine containing an aromatic ingredient. Laven- 
der oil is not used at present by oil painters to any great 
extent, but turpentine is largely used. 

Vibert was the first great painter to recommend the 
use of benzine as a diluent for paint, and on this sub- 
ject much is to be said. Vibert did not believe in the 
use of linseed oil, but used a resin varnish reduced 
with benzine. Benzine is nothing more nor less than 
the same material of lower gravity as what we know 
under the name of gasolene, petroleum essence, pe- 
troleum spirits, or naphtha, and is identical in chemical 
composition with the material used as a motive power 
in automobiles. There is another material which is 
spelled with an "e," "benzene," whereas the petroleum 
essence is spelled with an "i," benzine. The chemical 
name for benzene is benzol, but this is never to be 
recommended for oil painting, as its solvent power 


Permanent Painting 

is much too great. If benzol (benzene) were used 
by a painter as a diluent over a freshly painted sur- 
face, it would dissolve the work of yesterday. For 
the purposes of uniformity, I shall refer to petroleum 
spirits as naphtha, which is the name by which it is 
best known in America. It has the advantage over 
turpentine that it evaporates much more rapidly, and 
leaves no residue, nor does it exert any drying influ- 
ence by itself. 


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THERE are on the market no less than nine 
different varnishes sometimes sold under fan- 
ciful names, out of which only three are rec- 
ommended. The varnishes used are damar, sandarac, 
amber, copal, shellac, spirit varnish, oil copal and 
mastic. There may be some excuse for the use of 
spirit varnishes such as shellac or sandarac, which 
are made by dissolving these two gums in alcohol, and 
adding a small percentage of oil to prevent them from 
becoming too brittle. . The principal advantage in us- 
ing a spirit varnish /is that it dries dust free in 10 
or 15 minutes, but inasmuch as a spirit varnish binds 
very poorly on a linseed oil film, it is not to be recom- 

The use of oil copal varnishes, excepting where old 
paintings are to be imitated, is likewise to be depre- 
cated, for no copal varnish which is made by fusing 
copal or kauri gum with linseed oil retains its original 
color, or absence of color. If a piece of wood is 
painted with flake white or zinc white and varnished 
with an oil copal varnish, it will be found that when 
it is placed in a dark closet, it turns a dirty yellow at 
the end of three months, and if the experiment is 


Permanent Painting 

repeated, mastic or damar being used, it is found that 
no change in color takes place. Therefore, the only 
excuse for using an oil copal or oil kauri varnish is 
that if an old master is copied, the effect of time and 
the yellowing of age can be imitated. This can be best 
accomplished by the use of an oil varnish, and putting 
the painting away in a dark corner. 

Mastic varnish is perhaps the most reliable of all. 
It is made by dissolving gum mastic in spirits of 
turpentine, this solution taking place in the cold and 
with occasional shaking. After the solution has been 
obtained, it is necessary to filter it either through cot- 
ton or filter paper. When placed away and allowed 
to ripen with age, it produces a flexible, glossy varnish, 
the life of which is generally conceded to be ten years. 

Perhaps the next in the line is damar varnish, al- 
though this varnish is not as flexible as mastic, nor is 
the life of damar much over five years, but neither mas- 
tic nor damar turn yellow with age unless some drying 
oil is added to them. 

Bleached and orange shellac when dissolved in 
methyl or ethyl alcohol have been used for many years 
as picture varnishes. Both of these varnishes arc 
very opaque when made in the usual way, so that in 
order to clarify them, they are either filtered many 
times, or quick-silver vermilion is shaken with the 
varnishes, which after a day or two carries down the 
wax, and leaves a layer of clear varnish. This clear 
varnish is often sold under the name of French var- 


Permanent Painting 

nish, and is frequently mixed with either oil of laven- 
der or oil of bergamot to produce flexibility. If pro- 
gressive drying takes place under a varnish of this 
type, surface cracks are likely to ensue for obvious rea- 
sons,* and this is true of every varnish when applied 
before a painting be properly dry, but more so of the 
quick and hard drying varnishes. 

There is much varnish sold under the name of 
amber varnish, which is made of a fossil kauri resin, 
and there is no doubt that the fossil kauri resin is 
superior to the genuine amber. It is a popular fallacy 
to suppose that the ancients used amber varnish, for 
it is very likely that they called all hard resins amber. 
True amber must be so thoroughly tempered with oil, 
and is so very difficult to fuse, and dries so very slow- 
ly, that its use is not recommended, and where it is 
properly fused it is almost black on account of the 
high heat necessary for melting. 

The conclusion to be arrived at from the foregoing 
statements is that only two varnishes should be used 
for ordinary purposes, damar and mastic, and of the 
two mastic is preferable. It can be purchased from 
reliable firms, but where there is any doubt as to its 
purity, it can be very easily made by dissolving a pound 
of mastic in a quart of pure spirits of turpentine. 
When properly made, it has the color of refined lin- 
seed oil. It is better to use it in a thin layer than to 
make a thick solution and flow it on. 

* See chapter on "The Cause of the Cracking of Paintings and the 


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THE use of driers in artistic painting is as 
someone stated "an invention of the devil." 
Copal megilp, which is merely super-saturated 
drying oil, has ruined many a good painting. There 
are circumstances where the use of a drier for ar- 
tistic painting is permissible, such as, for instance, 
interior wall decorations where freedom from dust 
is essential, or for temporary painting for the pur- 
poses of reproduction for colored or black and white 
illustrations in books or magazines, but for portrait 
or landscape painting where the painter desires per- 
manence, driers are to be deprecated. 

The pigments themselves have peculiar characteris- 
tics in this regard (see chapter on "The drying quali- 
ties of pigments"), and the painter may help himself 
in case he desires a painting to dry rapidly, for if he 
has dark colors which do not dry, all the umbers and 
siennas are rapid driers, and if he has light colors 
which he desires to dry he may use in any instance 
spirits of turpentine and sunlight. 

Turpentine is an excellent drier and perfectly harm- 
less. It is quite true that it flattens the color, but this 


Permanent Painting 

is no objection, because the free use of turpentine en- 
ables the painter to varnish his picture so much the 
sooner, and the use of sunlight is also of great assist- 
ance, for we have absolute evidence that zinc white, 
which is at first a slow drier, dries progressively un- 
til it becomes brittle, but may be made to dry rapidly 
in the beginning by simply exposing it to bright light. 
Ordinary zinc white when mixed with raw linseed oil 
and placed in the dark, will remain soft and wet 
sometimes as long as ten days, yet on a bright, clear 
spring or summer day when exposed to the bright light 
it will skin over and dry in 12 hours. Care, how- 
ever, must always be taken never to expose a fresh 
painting to the heat of the summer sun, for linseed 
oil before it has begun to oxidize melts like wax. A 
current of air is likewise an effective drier, and some 
painters use the precaution of surrounding a painting 
with a curtain of cheese cloth which keeps the dust 
from it, but admits the air. 

Driers decompose many pigments. In fact, nearly 
every one of the lake colors is rapidly affected by the 
action of driers. Madder lake, when mixed with a 
lead or manganese drier, soon loses its pristine bril- 


Permanent Painting 


THE principal oils used by painters are linseed 
oil and poppy oil, and occasionally a little wal- 
nut oil. Linseed oil in its normal state is 
the best and the only oil that a painter should use. 
Walnut oil is paler than linseed oil, but dries much 
slower, while poppy oil is the palest of all the nut 
oils, and dries slower than walnut oil. 

Linseed oil is the oil extracted from flax-seed and 
while there may be a great deal of talk concerning 
adulterated oils, it must be said in justice to the man- 
ufacturers of artists materials that in no instance has 
the author ever found a single sample of oil which was 
labeled linseed oil that contained any impurity what- 
ever, so that it is perfectly safe for any painter to 
buy linseed oil from a credited manufacturer, and rest 
secure in the knowledge that the material is abso- 
lutely pure. 

The great objection, however, to the purchase of 
the majority of samples of linseed oil for artistic 
painting, is that the oil is generally refined or bleached, 
which is a serious mistake. Refined or bleached lin- 
seed oil means linseed oil in which the color is hid- 


Permanent Painting 

den, for in the bleaching of linseed oil the color is not 
extracted, it is simply changed from a greenish color 
to a barely visible yellow. * 

The point which the author wishes to bring out is 
that the painter is far better off, if he is going to use 
linseed oil for the reduction of his pigments, to use 
only raw linseed oil unbleached, but well settled. If 
the yellowish green, or the decidedly yellow raw lin- 
seed oil is used, the painter has the advantage in that 
the resulting mixture with white or light pigments 
will never grow much darker, and the highest tones 
that are produced are tones which the subsequent 
painting will show. On the other hand, if the bleached 
and almost colorless linseed oil is used, it cannot bleach 
any further, and if the painting is put away in a dark 
place, it is bound to grow darker on account of the 
generation of the original coloring matter in the oil. 
In other words, the coloring matter contained in 
bleached oil reverts with many pigments like flake 
white and zinc white to its original greenish state. 
Painters will do well to bear this in mind when paint- 
ing portraits. The use of bleached de-colorized lin- 
seed, poppy, or walnut oils is to be deprecated under 
all circumstances. 

Linseed oil dries much better in the sunlight than 
it does in the dark. 

The recommendation which one reads quite fre- 

* For a more scientific treatment of this subject, the reader is re- 
ferred to page 32, on the "Photo-Chemical Deterioration of oil paint- 


Permanent Painting 

quently, that a painter should press linseed oil for 
his own uses, is just as ridiculous in these days as the 
recommendation that a painter should grind his own 
colors. Pure raw linseed oil is obtainable in every 
civilized community, and what a painter should do is 
to buy a gallon of it, place it in small bottles which 
are corked only with a tuft of cotton and stand them 
on a shelf where they may remain for years, although 
it is unwise for a painter to use linseed oil which is 
more than five years old, because it is likely to de- 
compose and become what is technically termed as 
"fatty," which is equal to a kind of rancidity that we 
generally associate with the edible fats. At the same 
time, linseed oil that has become slightly thickened 
with age is of great value when mixed with the dry- 
ing pigments, such as zinc oxide and umber, because 
a film is obtained which is far more flexible than that 
obtained with the aid of driers. 

When linseed oil is boiled it becomes very much 
paler than it is in its raw state. This may sound like 
a contradiction, because nearly all boiled oils are dark, 
but that is due to the fact that they are generally 
boiled with a drier like lead or manganese, and these 
metals go into solution and form chemical soaps 
which alter the color of the oil. Any painter may try 
the experiment himself by taking raw linseed oil, plac- 
ing it in a clean agate-ware dish, and heating it slowly 
and carefully until it begins to froth. On cooling, it will 
be noted that the oil is somewhat thicker and very much 


Permanent Painting 

paler, and in addition to this, it dries in much less time 
than it does in its raw state. Such oil should never 
be used with the quick-drying pigments, but may be 
very safely used with all the blacks, zinc white, per- 
manent white and any of the lakes, but boiled linseed 
oil which contains an added drier like manganese, 
litharge, zinc or lime, should never be used with any 
lake pigment. 

Linseed oil in the process of drying goes through 
a very peculiar transformation. It generates both 
carbonic acid and water.* 

Even assuming that every pigment is dry when it 
is ground with oil for the painters' use, we can there- 
fore readily see that if flake white is mixed with an 
ultramarine blue, a sulphide of lead is likely to result, 
owing to the generation of water in the actual drying 
of the paint itself. 

The painter is probably aware of the fact that lin- 
seed oil, poppy oil and walnut oil, but linseed oil par- 
ticularly, dry from the top down. In other words, 
a skin is first formed, and underneath this skin the 
paint remains soft sometimes for years. Graphite 
and lampblack show this peculiar phenomenon more 
than any other pigment. Either of these two will 
dry on the surface, and sometimes a year afterward 
will be soft and wet underneath the skin which has 

* To those interested in the chemical philosophy of this subject, 
the author refers the reader to page 82, "Chemistry & Technology of 
Mixed Paints," by Maximilian Toch. 


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Linseed oil increases in bulk when it dries, which 
means that it does not dry by evaporation like tur- 
pentine, but dries by what we know as oxidation. It 
absorbs oxygen from the air, and forms a material 
which is known among chemists as linoxin, and linox- 
in is nothing more nor less than dry linseed oil or ox- 
idized linseed oil. A film of linseed oil paint in- 
creases in size depending upon the nature of the seed 
from which it is made, from 10 to 20%, which ac- 
counts for the wrinkling which very frequently takes 
place. To obviate this wrinkling painters do not add 
additional oil to their paint, but add turpentine, or 


Photograph of an oil painting showing serious cracking 
throughout, due to the contraction of the paint. Not 
sufficient sizing material had been applied to the canvas 
before the painting was executed, which is evidenced by 
the warp and woof of the canvas showing through the 

nan en t Painting 

-reases in bulk when it dries, which 
^t does ; vaporation like tur- 

ow as oxidation 

orms a material 

whi< oxin, and linox- 

<>d oil or ox- 

'i. A film ii paint in- 

/e depending upon ti the seed 

i which it is made, frot hich ac- 

counts for the wrinkling which akes 

place. To obviate this wrinkling add 

additional oil to their paint, but add turpentine, or 

iio i 
\ oi 
i)nit tui 


Permanent Painting 



The pigments which are in use, and a fairly complete 
list of those found on the market throughout the civ- 
ilized world, are as follows : 

List of Colors 

Alizarin Crimson 
Alizarin Orange 
Alizarin Scarlet 
Alizarin Yellow 
Alizarin Green 
Alizarin Carmine 
Alumina White or 

Lake White 
Antwerp Blue 
Black Lead 
Blue Black 
Blue Verditer 
Bone Brown 
Brilliant Ultramarine 


Bronze Green 
Brown Madder 
Brown Lake 
Brown Ochre 

Brown Pink 
Burnt Carmine 
Burnt Roman Ochre 
Burnt Sienna 
Burnt Umber 
Cadmium Yellow 
Cadmium Yellow Pale 
Caledonian Brown 
Cappah Brown 
Carbon Black 
Carmine Lake 
Carnation Lake 
Cassel Earth 
Cerulean Blue 
Charcoal Gray 
Chinese Blue 
Chinese Vermilion 
Chinese White 
Chrome Greens, 1,2 &3 
Chrome Orange 
Chrome Oxide 
Chrome Red 


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Cinnabar Greens, 1, 2 
& 3 

Citron Yellow 

Cobalt Blue 

Cobalt Green 

Cobalt Violet 

Cologne Earth 

Constant White 

Copal Megilp 

Cork Black 

Cremnitz White 

Crimson Lake 

Crimson Madder 

Davey's Gray 

Deep Madder 

Emerald Green 

Extract of Vermilion 

Field's Orange, Ver- 

Flake White 

French Blue 

French Ultramarine 

French Vermilion 

French Veronese Green 

Foundation White 



Geranium Lake 

Geranium Madder 

Gold Ochre 

Green Lakes, 2 & 3 

Harrison Red 

Hooker's Green, 1 & 2 

Indian Lake 

Indian Purple (Oil) 

Indian Purple (Water) 

Indian Red 

Indian Yellow 


Italian Pink 

Ivory Black 

Jacqueminot Madder 

Jaune Brilliant 

King's Yellow (Oil) 

King's Yellow (Water) 

Lamp Black 

Leitch's Blue 

Lemon Yellow 

Light Red 

Madder Carmine 

Madder Carmine, extra 

Madder Lake 


Malachite Green 

Mars Brown 

Mars Orange ^ 

Mars Red 

Mars Violet 

Mars Yellow 


Mauve Lake 


Mineral Gray 


Monochrome Tints 

Monochrome Tints 



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Naples Yellow (Oil) 
"Naples Yellow, Light 
Naples Yellow, French 
Naples Yellow, Medium 
Naples Yellow, Deep 
Naples Yellow, Reddish 
Naples Yellow, Green- 

Neutral Orange 
Neutral Tint (Oil) 
Neutral Tint (Water) 
New Blue 
Nottingham White 
Olive Green (Oil) 
Olive Green (Water) 
Olive Lake 
Olive Madder 
Orange Madder 
Orange Mineral 
Orange Vermilion 
Orient Madder 
Oxford Ochre 
Oxide of Chromium, 
Oxide of Chromium, 

Payne's Gray (Oil) 
Payne's Gray (Water) 
Permanent Blue 
Permanent Green, Lt. 
Permanent Green, Med. 
Permanent Green, Deep 
Permanent Violet 

Permanent White 
Permanent Yellow 
Pink Madder 
Primrose Aureolin 
Primrose Yellow 
Prussian Blue 
Prussian Brown 
Prussian Green (Oil) 
Prussian Green 

Pure Scarlet 
Purple Lake 
Purple Madder 
Raw Sienna 
Raw Umber 
Rembrandt's Madder 
Roman Ochre 
Roman Ochre (cool) 
Roman Sepia 
Rose Doree 
Rose Lake 
Rose Madder 
Rubens Madder 
Sap Green (Water) 
Sap Green (Oil) 
Scarlet Lake 
Scarlet Madder 
Scarlet Red 
Scarlet Vermilion 
Sepia (Oil) 
Sepia (Water) 
Silver White 
Sky Blue 


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Terra Rose Verona Brown 

Terre Verte Veronese Green 

Tours Red Violet Carmine 
Tours Orange Mineral Viridian 

Transparent Gold Warm Sepia 

Ochre Yellow Carmine 

Tuscan Red Yellow Lake 
Ultramarine (Genuine) Yellow Ochre 

Ultramarine Ash Zinc White 

Vandyke Brown Zinnober Green, light 

Vandyke Madder Zinnober Green, extra 
Venetian Red light 

Verdigris Zinnober Green, Me- 
Vermilion dium 

Vermilion, pale Zinnober Green, Deep 

Later I shall attempt to separate these pigments into 
various classes. First, the pigments which can be 
indiscriminately mixed with each other, and will not 
interact and are not affected by light. Second, pig- 
ments which alone are permanent, but which cannot 
be mixed with each other. Third, pigments which 
are fairly permanent under normal conditions, but 
not permanent when exposed to strong sunlight. 
Fourth, pigments which are fugitive, and which should 
under all circumstances be excluded from the artist's 
palette, existing only for the purpose of illustration 
for half-tone color work, and for use in illustrations 
in magazines. Perhaps the only excuse for the use 
of the fugitive pigments is for the purpose just re- 
ferred to, but even then every possible shade and 


Permanent Painting 

gradation of color can be obtained by the use of the 
more permanent colors. 


The alizarin colors are identical in composition with 
all the madder lakes, and up to the last generation the 
madder root was specially cultivated for the purpose 
of making a permanent red lake. The growing of the 
madder plant and the extraction of the color from 
the root, was a great industry in France. The red 
trousers worn by the French military were dyed with 
madder, in order to give the proper impetus to this 
industry, but with the advent of the coal tar dyes, an 
artificial madder was produced which is known as 
alizarin. This is identical in every respect with the 
color extracted from the root of the plant. The botan- 
ical name of the plant is Rubia Tinctorium, and as 
such was known to the Flemish and Italian painters. 

Alizarin or madder lake may be considered as a 
permanent color under certain conditions. Franz Hals 
was well aware of the correct way in which to use this 
lake in order to produce the vivid flesh tints of his 
countrymen. Rubicond noses and sunburnt cheeks 
were portrayed by him in a manner which after a 
lapse of three centuries have shown that this color, 
when intelligently used, is permanent. 

If madder lake is used as a glaze over a color which 


Permanent Painting 

has been allowed to dry thoroughly, it will remain 
permanent, but if madder or alizarin lake is mixed 
with any mineral or metallic color such as ochre, lead, 
sienna, etc., a chemical decomposition takes place, with 
the result that the lake is bleached. It is reasonable 
to suppose that Rembrandt did not glaze his flesh 
paints in the way that Franz Hals and Jan Steen did, 
as the flesh tints of the Rembrandt's of to-day are 
more or less bleached. The "Anatomy Lesson" in the 
Hague, shows upon close examination that the flesh 
tones of the demonstrator and the spectators have 
suffered from exposure to light, very likely due to 
the fact that the lake used in glazing was mixed with 
the under-coat. It is, therefore, reasonable to assume 
that alizarin or madder lakes should be used as glaz- 
ing colors over a properly dried surface. Alizarin 
or madder lakes, however, will not decompose when 
mixed with various blacks such as black lead, ivory 
black, lamp black and carbon black. . 

Madder lake may be mixed with any oxide of iron 
color which has been burnt, but may not be mixed with 
any raw iron color. For instance, madder or alizarin 
may be mixed with Indian red, forming a color known 
as Tuscan red, which is perfectly permanent. It may 
also be mixed with burnt sienna, burnt ochre, burnt 
umber, etc., but is fugitive when mixed with raw ochre, 
raw sienna or raw umber. The chemical colors like 
flake white (white lead), zinc oxide, chrome yellow, 
Naples yellow and chrome green all bleach it, but 


Permanent Painting 

colors like quick silver, vermilion, cadmium yellow and 
all of the blacks do not affect it. 

The safest way in which to use it is as a glaze over 
a ground which is thoroughly dry. Madder lake deep- 
ens considerably when placed in a dark place, but is 
revived when subjected to bright sunlight. 


These two colors are taken as one, for the reason 
that both alizarin yellow and alizarin green do not ex- 
ist, all the alizarin colors up to date being of a red 
or maroon shade. The name, therefore, is a misnomer, 
and should not be permitted. 

Alizarin yellow is a fairly permanent yellow lake 
made of an aniline yellow. There are, however, some 
alizarin yellows on the market which are made from 
the extracts of bark like quer citron, and these are not 
permanent. The author has made a yellow lake from 
the paranitraniline which is perfectly permanent when 
used alone, has great brilliancy and strength, but can- 
not by any means be called an alizarin yellow. 

The same is true of alizarin green, which as such, 
does not exist, and all the so-called alizarin greens on 
the market are not permanent, but are green lakes 
made from coal tar dyes which readily decompose 
when they are mixed with ochre or any one of the 
oxide of iron colors. The use of both of these colors 
is unwarranted. 


Permanent Painting 


This is the hydrated oxide of alumina which is 
ground in linseed oil, and is almost as transparent as 
glass. It is simply used as a medium for reducing or 
attenuating other pigments as, for instance, when it 
is desirable to glaze with burnt sienna, it is of advan- 
tage to mix burnt sienna with alumina, because in 
that way the burnt sienna assumes all the qualities of 
a lake color. Alumina is permanent, and is not af- 
fected by other pigments. As however, the amount of 
oil necessary to grind alumina into the paste form is 
very large, the oil contained in the mixture is prone 
to turn yellow. It has a variety of advantages, how- 
ever, which makes it exceedingly useful and can be 
generally recommended. 


Antwerp blue is either a mixture of Prussian blue 
or Chinese blue with aluminum hydrate, in other words, 
it is a Prussian blue reduced with a transparent base, 
and is not to be recommended where absolute perma- 
nency is desired. Of itself, or when mixed with zinc 
white, it produces very beautiful sky blue shades, and 
if properly varnished and painted on a solid surface, 
such as metal or wood, shows no change for many 
years, but when Antwerp blue is mixed with flake 
white or zinc white and reduced with raw linseed oil, 


Permanent Painting 

it turns decidedly green in a dark place, or in a poorly 
lighted studio, but regains its brilliant color when ex- 
posed to sunlight and air again. It is a weak form of 
Prussian blue used as a glaze, and is now superseded 
by ultramarine blue mixed with a transparent black. 


This is the same as bitumen and is a black gum, va- 
rieties of which are found in Africa, Cuba and the 
United States. It is a great mistake for artists' material 
manufacturers to sell asphaltum or bitumen to paint- 
ers or to carry it in stock, as it is not only worthless, 
but has a tendency to ruin a painting on which it is 
used. When mixed with other pigments, it retards 
their drying. When used as a glazing color, it is 
frequently a cause of so-called alligator cracks, owing 
to the unequal expansion and contraction between it 
and the base upon which it is applied, but the worst 
feature of it is that when it is exposed to sunlight, it 
decomposes into charcoal and water, and deposits a 
black soot on the picture. To those who are interested 
in a scientific dissertation on this subject, I would 
refer them to the article on the "Influence of Sun 
Light on Paints," Journal, Society of Chemical In- 
dustry, which systematically explains the effect of light 
on the hydro-carbon compounds, but as this is not a 
work on chemistry, the scientific illustrations will be 


Permanent Painting 

Asphaltum or bitumen is harmful in every sense of 
the word, and it is very doubtful whether the great 
masters ever used it. In Italy it was used to a great- 
er extent than in Flanders, for there are still many 
old pictures to be found in Italy which are a black 
smudge with here and there a faint trace of lighter 
pigment. This black smudge was once a bright mass 
of colors glazed with bitumen, which can be revived by 
cleaning carefully with methyl alcohol. 

A glaze which is permanent can be made in imita- 
tion of asphaltum by mixing raw sienna, burnt umber 
and carbon black or ivory black. 


Aurelian is a pigment that has been introduced dur- 
ing the last generation, and is sometimes sold under 
the name of cobalt yellow. It is a double nitrite of 
cobalt and potassium. There is a variation of opinion 
as to its permanency. Some claim that it is absolutely 
permanent both in water and oil, and others claim that 
it decomposes with a white, but from the experiments 
made by the author its permanence depends entirely 
upon its purity. If the color is thoroughly washed by 
the manufacturer after it is precipitated in order to 
free it from soluble salts, it may be regarded as ab- 
solutely permanent, because it is not affected by sul- 
phur gases nor by sunlight. If the color is impure, 
it is very likely to decompose any lake which may be 


Permanent Painting 

added to it, and when mixed with raw linseed oil, it 
loses its brilliancy in a short time. There are several 
good manufacturers of this pigment, whose aurelian 
yellow may be used and regarded as absolutely perma- 
nent. For safety's sake, it is advisable to use it alone 
and not to mix it with any lake pigment. Lake glazed 
over it, after it is perfectly dry, does not affect either 
the lake or the aurelian. 

AURORA YELLOW (See Cadmium Colors) 

This is a species of lamp black, which is the soot 
from the smoke of pitch pine. In the condensation, a 
small percentage of resin is admixed which probably 
accounts for the brownish color of this soot. It may 
be regarded as permanent, but when mixed with oil 
dries very badly. It is a deep brown, but it has been 
asserted that better or more permanent effects can be 
obtained by a mixture of lamp black and umber. It is 
used as a water color as well as an oil color. 

BITUMEN (See Asphaltum) 


This pigment is composed principally of graphite, 
which is the material used for making lead pencils. 
It is a form of carbon, and varies in purity from 
60% to 90%, the other constituents being silica and 


Permanent Painting 

clay. Black lead is popularly known under the name 
of "stove polish." It has a metallic steel gray sheen, 
both when used as a water color and as an oil color, and 
gives delicate grays which are free from blue. It is 
one of the permanent colors, and has absolutely no 
effect whatever upon any color with which it may be 
mixed. It is an exceedingly slow drier, and when it 
does dry it remains soft, so that care must be exer- 
cised not to use it too thickly, for, after it skins over 
and dries from the top, the interior may remain soft 
for years. In making a gray by mixing with zinc 
white, it has the advantage of neutralizing the even- 
tual brittleness produced by the zinc, and may be 
regarded under every circumstance as a perfectly soft 
and permanent pigment. The hard drying colors such 
as zinc, red lead, orange mineral, umber, etc., should 
be used with great care over black lead, for the ob- 
vious reason that cracks are bound to result, owing 
to the non-equal tension in drying. * 


This is a species of vine black and charcoal, and 
derives its name from the fact that when mixed with 
white, it produces a very pleasing bluish gray, which 
is absolutely permanent. Blue black is an excellent 
drier, in fact, so much so, that the pigment will some- 
times dry up entirely in the tube. Blue black is slight- 

* See chapter on the Cracking of Oil Paintings, p. 40. 


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ly alkaline, which accounts for its excellent drying 
properties, and likewise accounts for its livering in the 
tube. When once it has livered, it cannot very well be 
restored to its original condition. There are, however, 
a number of good lamp blacks on the market sold in 
tube form, which are as fine, if not finer, than blue 
black and produce practically the same shade. 

Of the various samples examined, no two manufac- 
turers appear to use the same material. In one in- 
stance, the author found the pigment to be composed 
of vine black, which is a species of charcoal. In an- 
other instance a very pure lamp black appeared to be 
the base, which when mixed with white tinted out to 
a relatively blue gray, and in a third instance, it ap- 
peared to be a mixture of charcoal tinted with Prus- 
sian blue. All three of these pigments may be re- 
garded as permanent, for very particular uses in paint- 
ing, particularly in landscape painting for producing 
sombre sky effects. 

Blue black may be mixed with zinc in any propor- 
tion, and while it is not so slow a drier as graphite 
or lamp black, it has relatively the same effect on 
zinc and prevents it from becoming brittle. 


Blue verditer is the hydrated oxide of copper, but 
inasmuch as it is made by precipitating a copper so- 
lution with lime, it is not always permanent in the 


Permanent Painting 

tubes, for it has the property of combining with the 
oil and stiffening into a livery compound. It is quite 
a defective color, and should not be used for perma- 
nent painting, for the reason that hydrogen sulphide 
blackens it and sulphuric acid bleaches it, and when it 
contains traces of lime it dries exceedingly hard and 
is liable to crack. 

The same shade may be obtained by mixing such 
permanent pigments as ultramarine, zinc oxide and 
hydrated chrome oxide, these three being unaffected 
by sulphureted hydrogen. 


This is one of the pigments which has no license to 
exist. When bones are fully calcined they produce 
a very desirable black color, but when bones are partly 
calcined the color is brown, owing to the production 
of what is known as bone pitch. In chemical compo- 
sition, bone pitch is the same as asphaltum, and this 
accounts for the fact that bone brown is a very bad 
drier and is not permanent to light. The same effects 
may be produced by the use of many other more 
durable colors. Bone brown should be stricken from 
the list of artists' colors. 


Brilliant ultramarine blue is assumed to be the 
artificial ultramarine blue which is made by calcining 


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sulphur, clay and sulphate of soda. It is permanent 
to light when used alone and when used with certain 
of the colors upon which it has no influence, and will 
be properly described under ultramarine blue. 


This is a mixture of orange chrome yellow and 
Prussian blue. When pure, it is not affected by sun- 
light, and when properly varnished, and protected is 
unaffected by sulphureted hydrogen. 

There is, however, no reason why bronze green 
should be made from chrome yellow, as where possible 
all lead colors should be avoided by the painter. Cad- 
mium yellow and Prussian blue make a very perma- 
nent bronze green which is permanent but more ex- 
pensive than the chrome yellow pigment. 


Brown madder differs nowadays from the brown 
madder made 50 years ago. Formerly the madder 
brown was prepared from madder root, and tinted with 
a solid pigment, such as burnt ochre or burnt sienna 
Brown madder is now made in the same chemical 
manner in which the red madder is made, with the 
exception that the color is practically spoiled in the 
making by the addition of iron oxide, because inas- 
much as iron compounds exert a continuous reducing 


Permanent Painting 

action on the pigment, brown madder soon loses its 
brilliancy and is destroyed. It may be regarded as a 
fairly permanent color, but can be replaced in several 
ways, and is therefore not to be recommended. 

All the qualities of this pigment are described under 
the head of alizarin or madder lake. When mixed 
with a metallic color like lead, zinc or iron it is not 
permanent. When used alone and made of madder 
lake and lamp black it is permanent. 


This may be any red or maroon lake of an organic 
nature either calcined the same as burnt carmine or 
saddened by the admixture of an iron compound. 
When made in the latter manner it is permanent for 
two or three years. When made in the former manner 
it is very fugitive. 

Brown lake made by mixing madder lake and burnt 
amber is permanent and dries very well. Some paint- 
ers make a perfect brown by mixing lamp black, cad- 
mium and madder lake. This mixture is permanent, 
but has the disadvantage of drying very slowly. 


Brown ochre is similar in composition to all the 
other ochres, being a form of clay tinted naturally with 
iron ores or the hydrated oxide of iron. It is known 


Permanent Painting 

also under the name of Oxford ochre, and sometimes 
deep Roman ochre, and when used alone is permanent, 
but when mixed with any white pigment it turns con- 
siderably darker after a lapse of several years. 

Brown ochre must never be used with any lake color 
because the iron oxide in it has a destructive effect. It 
is a good drier, and when properly thinned out may be 
used as a glaze. It is analogous to raw sienna, but is 
considerably weaker in tinting power. 

A very dark ochre may contain nearly 40% hy- 
drated oxide of iron, whereas French ochres contain 
only 20%, and are therefore nearer in composition 
to siennas. It has a tendency, when exposed to strong 
sunlight for a long time, to darken, which is evidently 
due to the change in the oxide of iron. It is otherwise 
an exceedingly permanent color, but has a destructive 
influence on all lakes with which it may be mixed. It 
is a good drier. 


Brown pink is similar in composition to Dutch pink 
and Italian pink. It is a transparent olive yellow like 
all of its progenitors. It is made from either the 
Persian berry or quercitron bark, and when made from 
a vegetable coloring matter of this kind, has little or 
no value as a permanent pigment. It is very easily 
decomposed in the presence of many of the metallic 
pigments, and when mixed with zinc or used as a glaze 


Permanent Painting 

will fade in the bright sunlight perceptibly in four 

For experimental purposes, however the author has 
made a color of this nature on the paranitraniline ser- 
ies which, when used alone over a dry surface, is prac- 
tically permanent and does not bleach in the light, but 
darkens very slightly. Brown pink after a year is 
useless as a permanent color and is not recommended. 
Neither can the transparent yellow made by the author 
be recommended at this writing, because the color has 
only been under observation for four years. 


Burnt carmine is made from ordinary carmine or car- 
mine lake by heating it until the organic matter begins 
to char, so that what we really have is a decomposition 
of the color and an increase in the percentage of car- 
bon. If you, therefore, take a lake and mix it with 
carbon black, you obtain practically the same results. 
At the same time, any burnt lake of the carmine or 
scarlet or crimson order is a fugitive color, weak in 
hiding power, poor in glazing properly, but effects are 
obtained which are regarded as desirable by some. A 
burnt lake should really not be used by any painter. 
It may be a very beautiful color, and it may possibly 
have some uses for interior decoration where brilliancy 
is not required, but from the standpoint of the artists' 
palette, it is unfortunate that this color was ever in- 


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vented for a four weeks' exposure to the midsummer's 
sun decomposed it almost beyond recognition. 

Any madder with a touch of lampblack produces the 
same result, and color manufacturers could produce 
such a combination under the name of permanent 
burnt lake. 


This is a species of dark ochre obtained by burning 
the ochre and driving off the water which it contains, 
thus producing a rich brown which has some similarity 
to burnt sienna, but is very much weaker. It is a 
very permanent color. When mixed with whites it 
does not fade, but after eighteen months becomes 
slightly darker, if that term may be used in conjunc- 
tion with it, but in spite of its darkening it loses none 
of its pristine brilliancy, and was one of the colors 
used by the early Italian painters with excellent 

When ground in pure linseed oil, it has a tendency 
to harden in the tube, but may be broken up and used 
freely. It has very little hiding power, and may there- 
fore be used as a glazing color. It has less effect 
upon the decomposition of madder lake than its un- 
burnt progenitor. 


This is a material very much similar in composition 
to burnt ochre, excepting that its content of oxide of 


Permanent Painting 

iron is very much larger, and the physical character- 
istics differ from those of ochre. Ochre is opaque and 
burnt sienna is translucent. Burnt sienna is one of 
the most permanent colors in existence, excepting 
perhaps, the lighter shades which have not been so 
well calcined, and these have a strong tendency to 
darken and become redder. As a glazing color, it 
has valuable properties, and it can be mixed with 
lake colors. Painters generally allow the sienna to 
dry thoroughly, and then glaze a lake color over it. 
Exceedingly rich tints are produced in this manner 
which are absolutely permanent, providing the lake 
itself is permanent. 

The mars colors are nearly all artificial siennas and 
are just as permanent. Burnt sienna is an excellent 
drier and will mix with almost every other perma- 
nent color. 


Burnt umber is similar to burnt sienna. It con- 
tains oxides of manganese and iron. It is made by 
heating raw umber, which is a dark olive green color, 
but when heated is converted into a pleasing brown. 
It is a permanent color, and one of the best drying pig- 
ments in existence; so much so, that many painters 
mix umber with their pigments for producing dark 
backgrounds in order to obtain a good drying surface. 

Burnt umber has more hiding power (opacity) than 


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the sienna colors and is perfectly permanent and re- 
liable. Care must be exercised not to paint it over 
a soft or semi-dry ground or cracks will result. 


This description comprises all of the cadmium colors 
from the palest yellow to the deepest orange. All of 
the cadmium colors are manufactured by precipitat- 
ing a salt of cadmium with a salt containing a sul- 
phide, so that the cadmiums are sulphides of cadmium, 
and according to the speed of precipitation, tempera- 
ture of the solutions, admixture of acids or alkalies, 
all shades from brilliant yellow to the deepest orange 
are formed. 

All writers practically agree in stating, and the 
experiments of the author confirm it, that cadmium 
yellow may be regarded as a perfectly permanent 
pigment. The artistic painter is fortunate in having 
such a brilliant color at his command. Much has 
been written on the supposed reactions that take 
place between this and other pigments. It is said, 
though being a sulphide, it should not be mixed with 
a lead color, because the sulphur in the cadmium 
would combine with the lead with a blackening effect. 
Ordinarily, this is not so. Cadmium sulphide is a 
very stable chemical compound, and will not give up 
its sulphur as readily as artificial ultramarine blue 


Permanent Painting 

will ; for instance, there should therefore be no hesi- 
tancy in using cadmium sulphide with any lead com- 
pound, although, to make assurance doubly sure, 
zinc white could be used as when a cadmium color 
is mixed with zinc there can not possibly be any visi- 
ble effect of decomposition. 

It is unfortunate, perhaps, that cadmium sulphide is 
so very expensive. The dry pigment itself costs at 
this writing about $3.00 a pound to manufacture, but 
no artistic painter should be without this yellow, and 
above all it should only be bought from a manufacturer 
of excellent reputation. 

Cadmium yellow may fail, and in many instances 
does fail, because it is improperly made and because 
it is ground in an emulsion of oil and water, or be- 
cause the oil in which it is ground may be of a highly 
acid nature. Manufacturers of tube colors ought to 
learn the lesson that no tube color should be ground in 
a chemically bleached vegetable oil, for oils are prin- 
cipally bleached by means of a strong acid like sul- 
phuric or chromic, and all traces of these acids are 
not entirely washed out, so that much trouble may 
arise from the ultimate effect of this trace of acid, 
and even a good color like cadmium may be decom- 
posed if the oil be not entirely pure. 

The cadmiums are slow but reliable driers and may 
be mixed with all other chemical pigments, even flake 
white, without decomposing. 


Permanent Painting 


Caledonian brown may be a mixture of brown umber 
and raw sienna in varying degrees, or it may be a 
mixture of vandyke brown and sienna. In the latter 
case it would not be permanent. In the former case 
it would be, and in all events, no two manufacturers 
use the same mixture of pigments nor obtain the 
same shades, and as the painter can obtain the shade 
he wants by mixtures of these permanent pigments, 
there is really no reason why this color should be 
added to the already complicated list of painters' tube 
colors. It has a tendency to grow darker upon very 
long exposure, and when it contains manganese is a 
good, hard drier, but when it contains large quanti- 
ties of vandyke, it is a soft, slow drier. It is easily 
produced on the palette by mixing sienna and umber. 


Cappah brown is a species of decomposed bog earth 
similar in composition to a mixture of vandyke brown 
and burnt umber. It is similar to umber on account of 
the manganese which it contains, and therefore is a 
good drier. It is, however, not very stable in bright 
sunlight and darkens somewhat on exposure owing 
to its content of bitumen. It can easily be spared from 
the list of browns. 


Permanent Painting 


This is an extremely fine pigment stronger than 
lamp black and intensely black, in fact, in blackness 
it compares favorably with ivory black. It is per- 
manent, and does not affect any other pigment with 
which it may be mixed. Its great strength (tinctorial 
power) can be shown very easily as follows: if one 
takes one part of carbon black and twenty parts of 
permanent white and mixes them together, the result 
will be a black which will approximate the shade of 
lamp black. In other words, it has such intense color- 
ing properties that it stains every other color with 
which it may be mixed. Although it is absolutely 
harmless under all circumstances, it is no better than 
ivory black and possesses a number of disadvantages. 
It is an extremely poor drier and retards the drying 
of every other pigment with which it may be mixed, 
so that ivory or bone black should be used in place of it. 


Carmine is the coloring matter of the cochineal bug 
which is mordanted or fastened by means of alum. It 
is an intensely brilliant red, translucent and works 
well and dries fairly well, but it is exceedingly fugi- 
tive, and is not only bleached by the action of sunlight, 
but is destroyed by many of the metallic pigments. 
There is no effect that can be produced with carmine 
that cannot be produced with the madder lakes, and 


Permanent Painting 

therefore carmine should never be used on any paint- 
er's palette. 


Carmine lake is a deep maroon which is made after 
the first coloring matter is extracted from the cochi- 
neal bug. It may have a pleasing maroon shade, and 
it may have good working qualities, but in six days in 
the bright sunlight it shows a loss of brilliancy and 
begins to fade. This quality should eliminate it as a 
pigment for artistic use. It is decomposed in the pres- 
ence of the ochres. 


Prior to 25 years ago this lake was a carmine de- 
rivative. Within the last 20 years the author has 
found a carmine sold under the name of carnation 
lake which was evidently a wood extract and fugitive, 
and another sample which was a reduced form of 
madder lake. The former was fugitive and useless. 
The latter, while not very brilliant, was permanent, 
so that, at this writing, it is impossible to say whether 
carnation lake, as a general statement, is permanent 
or not, for it depends entirely upon the maker. Under 
the circumstance it is advisable not to use it for it is 
not essential, as the same shade is sold under the name 
of scarlet madder. 


Permanent Painting 


This pigment may have been in former years an 
ochrey brown, but at present it appears to be identical 
with vandyke brown, and is not regarded as a per- 
manent color. It will be properly described under the 
name of vandyke brown. 


In the present age cerulean blue is an artificial ultra- 
marine blue of pale shade known commercially under 
the name of artificial cobalt blue. Some manufactur- 
ers in order to give it its proper tone grind this pale 
commercial ultramarine blue with a mixture of zinc 
oxide, and it has the property of appearing blue un- 
der gas light or electric light. The author finds that 
when made by reputable concerns, it is perfectly per- 
manent and can be mixed with almost any pigment ex- 
cepting those containing lead. Its existence compli- 
cates matters, however, for the ordinary cobalt blue 
of commerce mixed with white will produce practically 
the same shade and effect. 


This pigment appears to be a vine black reduced with 
permanent white. When badly washed in its original 
manufacture it has a tendency to become hard in the 


Permanent Painting 

tubes. It can easily be substituted by mixing lamp 
black with permanent white, and although it is a per- 
manent color and not affected by any other color, it 
is a hard drier, owing to its alkaline nature, and if 
used on top of a soft drying color like any one of the 
lakes, it would show a tendency to crack. 


This is a ferrocyanide of iron sold also under the 
name of Prussian blue, milori blue, steel blue, bronze 
blue, Antwerp blue and various other names. It dif- 
fers from Prussian blue physically only in the fact that 
when mixed with white it produces a clear sky-blue 
tint. Chemically it is unstable, for, when mixed with 
white lead and allowed to remain on the palette over 
night it will be blue where it comes in contact with 
the air, and decomposes into a pale, sickly green un- 
derneath the surface. It does not show this defect 
when mixed with permanent white or zinc oxide. If 
mixed with one of the charcoal or vine blacks which 
contain a slight amount of alkali, it loses its color and 
becomes brownish, but when properly made and thor- 
oughly washed in its original manufacture and used 
alone, it is practically permanent. It may have some 
excellent working qualities, and may be a beautiful, 
rich color, but all its shades and delicate effects can be 
reproduced by means of more permanent blues. There- 
fore, there is no reason why this blue should be user!. 


Permanent Painting 


Chinese vermilion is one of the oldest pigments 
known to artistic painters. The reader is referred to 
the chapter on synopia for a history of the use of this 
pigment. Whether the ancient Greeks and Romans 
obtained vermilion from China or the Idria section, 
it is difficult to say, but the chances are that the Orien- 
tal travelers brought some of the native vermilion 
with them in addition to that which was found in 

Vermilion is a sulphide of mercury, and is artificially 
made by mixing sulphur and mercury in the presence 
of an alkaline solution under heat and pressure. It 
ranges in shade from a light orange to a deep scarlet, 
and while it is perfectly true that when used alone as 
an oil color and exposed to the brilliant sun rays, it 
will darken considerably, when glazed over with mad- 
der, as is frequently done after it is thoroughly dry, 
it is remarkably permanent, or when properly varnished 
it is very stable. It is a good drier and has great 


Chinese white is a zinc oxide. Its name would imply 
that it is a color invented by the Chinese or found 
in China, neither of which is the case. It was invented 
in France, and probably to hide its origin some manu- 


Permanent Painting 

facturer called it Chinese white. The description will 
be found under the head of zinc white. 


These greens are unfortunately named, because al- 
though there is some chromium in their composition 
from the chromate of lead which they contain, they are 
strictly speaking, not pure chrome greens, such as 
guignet or viridian green. Chrome greens are essen- 
tially a double precipitate of chrome yellow and Prus- 
sian blue, and vary in shade according to the percent- 
age of yellow or blue which they may contain. These 
colors may work very well and dry very well, but 
have the combined defects of chrome yellow and Prus- 
sian blue. Assuming that the color is properly made, 
it is fairly permanent to light, has tremendous tinting 
power, but is acted upon by sulphureted hydrogen, 
and even when not subjected to the action of any gas, 
it loses its brilliancy within a very few years. It is 
not recommended as a necessary color and can be very 
well omitted. 


Both of these colors are chromates of lead made 
with the addition of lime and are not any more perma- 
nent than the other shades of chrome yellow. In chem- 
ical composition they are equal to chrome yellow mixed 


Permanent Painting 

with a small percentage of red lead or orange mineral. 
In view of the fact that cadmium orange exists and 
is much more permanent, chrome orange should be 
eliminated from the palette. 

CHROMIUM OXIDE (See French Veronese Green) 


The word cinnabar refers entirely to the sulphide of 
mercury, and when chrome green was first made, some 
manufacturer called his product cinnabar green, in- 
tending to convey the idea that his mixture of chrome 
yellow and Prussian blue was as permanent as cinnabar 
red or native vermilion. The name has stuck to it in the 
trade. An examination of the pigments shows that 
it is by no means a pure chrome yellow and Prussian 
blue, but is reduced with either whiting, permanent 
white or other reinforcing pigment, and owing to this 
reduction it is more permanent than the concentrated 
color, because it does not contain as much pigment 
that can spoil or deteriorate as the concentrated color 
does. In brilliancy, tone and strength, it is quite sat- 
isfactory, but it is not permanent and is easily affected 
by noxious gases. 


Citron yellow is also known under the name of 
primrose yellow, and is usually composed of a mixture 
of chromate and oxide of zinc. Inasmuch as this color 


Permanent Painting 

is somewhat soluble in water, it cannot be very thor- 
oughly washed, and in the presence of moisture has 
a marked effect on almost every color with which it 
may be mixed. When used alone, it is quite permanent 
and not affected by noxious gases of any kind, and 
when varnished before it has any opportunity for de- 
composition, it is remarkably permanent. In former 
years it was regarded as a fugitive color, but this was 
due to defects in its manufacture. Now the color has 
a fairly large sale for coach painting, but as an artists' 
color there is no reason to use it, because the pale 
shades of cadmium mixed with permanent white pro- 
duce identical effects with no serious results. 


This color is very difficult to describe, as it may 
be a pale shade of artificial ultramarine blue, or it 
may be a true oxide of cobalt, or it may be a salt of 
cobalt mixed with alumina and barium. A tube no 
larger than your little ringer may sell anywhere from 
25 to 40 cents, but that is no indication whatever of 
its quality or composition, and the majority of samples 
of cobalt blue as sold, that the author has examined, 
consist of artificial ultramarine blue, and as such are 
among the most permanent and useful pigments which 
the artist can possibly use. Owing to the fact that 
cobalt and its chemical derivatives are expensive, the 
high price still clings to the cobalt blue which the paint- 


Permanent Painting 

er uses, but this is more or less unwarranted, because 
the artificial cobalt blue (ultramarine) is very inex- 
pensive and exceedingly permanent, except when 
mixed with another pigment which contains lead, like 
flake white, white lead, chrome yellow or chrome green. 
It should also be kept away from colors containing 
copper, lead and iron, and such metallic bases as 
are affected by sulphureted hydrogen, for the slight- 
est trace of acid will liberate sulphureted hydrogen 
from cobalt or ultramarine blue. 

On the other hand, it is still possible to buy genu- 
ine cobalt blue which is a brilliant blue glaze, finely 
powdered. The beautiful blues produced on china 
ware by means of vitrification are generally produced 
by means of oxide of cobalt, which turns blue at a 
very high temperature. When these blue glazes are 
finely powdered whether they be brought up in a 
medium of glass or of pottery is the same. As such, 
these blues have very little hiding power, but are ex- 
ceedingly brilliant and strong and unchangeable. They 
are used as transparent glazes, but the artificial cobalt 
blue made from ultramarine is just as transparent, 
and when used alone just as permanent. At the same 
time, the minute broken bits of glass of which genuine 
cobalt blue is composed refract and reflect the light 
with such brilliancy that the optical value of the color 
is enhanced. 

Cobalt blue is sold under the following names: 
smalt, powder blue, Vienna blue, royal blue. 


Permanent Painting 


Cobalt green is made in various ways. Some manu- 
facturers mix a pale shade of ultramarine blue which 
is known commercially as artificial ultramarine green 
with a mixture of oxide of zinc. Sometimes it is 
made by grinding oxide of zinc and zaffer which is a 
native oxide of cobalt. In any case the cobalt green 
which has been examined is apparently very permanent, 
but lacks very much in opacity, which, however, is no 
detriment, because the color is principally used as a 
glazing color. It appears to be a very expensive color 
when made from the salt of genuine cobalt, and as 
such is permanent under any and all conditions. It 
may also be a composition of genuine cobalt blue 
mixed with chromate of zinc or zinc yellow, in which 
case it would also be permanent, but if it is a mixture 
of ultramarine blue and chromate of zinc, it is not 
permanent, and has sometimes been known to decom- 
pose in the tube. 

It is difficult for the painter to tell what the com- 
position of cobalt green may be, but inasmuch as gen- 
uine chrome green which is described under the name 
of viridian and oxide of chromium is more permanent 
and of practically the same shade, the use of cobalt 
green may be eliminated. 


This is also a chemical precipitate made with phos- 
phate of cobalt, and has evidently been used for nearly 


Permanent Painting 

a century. It is exceedingly permanent and translu- 
cent, but has not the tinctorial power of the purple 
madders which easily replace it. 

There is a violet ultramarine which is sometimes 
sold under the name of cobalt violet. This color is a 
beautiful, clear, transparent, permanent color. When 
used alone or as a glaze over any other dried color, it 
dries slowly. 


This may be a native vandyke brown tinted with 
lamp black, or a native vandyke brown which is cal- 
cined so that the organic matter chars and blackens. 
It dries somewhat better than vandyke brown, is fair- 
ly permanent, but not quite as translucent, and is 
analogous to cassel earth and Rubens brown. If 
the glazing color which David Teniers, the younger, is 
supposed to have used, was cologne earth, we have 
no reason to doubt its permanency, and all experiments 
made by the author show that it can be freely mixed 
with other pigments without producing any decompos- 
ing effect. 


There is no question that this material which is an 
artificial sulphate of barium is one of the most useful 
pigments for indiscriminate use. It is quite true that 
it lacks opacity, and that even when piled on thickly 


Permanent Painting 

shows a transparency which for many purposes is 
detrimental from the artistic and technical standpoint, 
but due consideration must be given to the fact that 
it is a valuable pigment which can be indiscriminately 
mixed with every pigment that is permanent without 
producing any harmful effect. For producing a per- 
manent glaze, and substituting bitumen, which is easily 
decomposed, permanent white can be mixed with any 
one of the solid colors, and the same effect produced. 
It is not affected by any gases, and when scientifically 
prepared, has little or no action on the oil. In other 
words, there is no tendency to turn the oil yellow 
when placed in the dark. This material is also sold 
under the name of blanc fixe, and although some 
manufacturers produce a permanent white which is 
largely composed of zinc oxide, there are others who 
grind the dry blanc fixe in oil, and still others who 
mix dry blanc fixe with zinc oxide. There are many 
lake colors which are precipitated on this material, 
and therefore a quasi lake can always be made by 
the painter by taking a small proportion of the solid 
pigment and mixing it with a large proportion of 
constant white. It dries well and is very reliable. 


When linseed oil is boiled with oxide of lead and 
manganese to a temperature of above 500 F., a chem- 
ical decomposition takes place, and the metallic com- 


Permanent Painting 

pounds are dissolved in the linseed oil. Strictly speak- 
ing, in the chemical sense, a linseed oil metallic soap 
is formed which is frequently used as a drier, and 
under some circumstances is reliable, but under others 
is not. For instance, as when megilp is mixed with any 
one of the blacks, such as lamp black, carbon black, 
ivory black, gray black, etc., it hastens their drying, 
but should not be used with the colors which natur- 
ally dry well. When megilp is mixed with the chemical 
colors, a change in shade almost invariably takes 
place, and it is an established fact that after megilp 
is dry to the touch, it keeps on drying until the re- 
sulting film is hard, brittle and contractile. 

Where megilp is used indiscriminately, a picture is 
almost invariably likely to crack, and even though it 
may have some good qualities, its bad qualities so 
far outweigh them that it should not be used for 
permanent painting. 


This is a carbon black produced by calcining cork. 
It is grayish in color but has extreme strength. It 
is a very slow drier, which is characteristic of all 
carbons. It is very permanent but has no advantage 
over lamp black. 


In all respects this white is similar in chemical com- 
position to flake white or white lead. It is chemically 


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produced by what is known as the "quick process," 
and is made directly from a solution of acetate of lead. 
It is exceedingly heavy, but crystalline in structure, 
and very easily affected by sulphureted hydrogen. It 
should not be used in painting portraits because zinc 
white is far more permanent. However, it has one 
good feature and is useful for one purpose. In pre- 
paring a canvas cremnitz white mixed with turpentine 
produces a flat ground which has what the painter calls 
"tooth." The surface has a fine grain, to which sub- 
sequent colors adhere well, and as such its use is per- 


This is a beautiful shade of cochineal lake, and is 
manufactured from the coloring matter which remains 
after the carmine has been precipitated or extracted 
from the cochineal bug. It is, however, a useless color. 
It not only dries badly, but when submitted to the 
sunlight for 10 days, it bleaches badly. It should 
never be used under any circumstances for permanent 
painting, and is similar to carmine lake. 


This is a form of madder lake manufactured very 
largely from alizarin, which is chemically the same 
as the madder produced from the root. It is very 
permanent as long as it is used alone or when used 


Permanent Painting 

as a glaze over a thoroughly dry surface, but when 
mixed with any one of the chemical colors, or the na- 
tive earth colors, it decomposes rapidly, and therefore 
should not be used indiscriminately. It dries slowly. 


Davey's gray is a permanent color which is prepared 
from a silicious earth, either clay or slate, tinted with 
artificial cobalt. It is not used in America to any great 
extent, because it is assumed that the color may be 
produced by a mixture of constant white, lamp black 
and cobalt blue. It is permanent and has no effect on 
other colors, but is affected by sulphureted hydrogen, 
or when made with artificial ultramarine blue decom- 
poses lead colors. 


This is a permanent glazing color when used alone 
or when glazed over other colors which are dry. In 
shade it approaches carmine lake and should be used m 
the place of carmine lake. It dries very slowly, but 
can be generally recommended as a safe pigment. Must 
not be mixed with ochre, lead or native earth pigments. 


There is apparently no green which is as brilliant as 
emerald green. It is also known under the name of 


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Paris green or emeraude green. It is a peculiarly crys- 
talline color, and when ground exceedingly fine loses 
its brilliancy. Some samples contain green aniline, 
which is added for the purpose of giving it staining 
power, because emerald green of itself is a defective 
and exceedingly weak color. Being a compound of 
arsenic and copper, it is very easily decomposed by 
sulphur gases, although it is fairly permanent to light. 
It is one of the fugitive colors for whose existence there 
may be some excuse, because it is exceedingly bril- 
liant, and when used with extreme care and varnished 
over as soon as it is thoroughly dry, there is no rea- 
son why it should not last 50 or 100 years. 

Marine painters use it for painting the starboard 
light, and sometimes produce a most brilliant effect by 
starting with a hydrated oxide of chromium, then 
painting a ring of emerald green, and in the center 
placing a touch of zinc white. This gives the effect 
of luminosity. 

Emerald green dries slowly and should always be 
used alone. It sometimes destroys lake colors in a 
few hours. 


This is a misnomer, for there is no such thing as 
an extract of vermilion. The color is generally a very 
pale vermilion of scarlet shade, and the description 
under the head of Chinese and English vermilion an T 
swers the description of extract of vermilion. 


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This color is composed of the sulphide of mercury, 
the same as extract of vermilion, Chinese vermilion, 
etc., and differs only in shade, being somewhat deeper 
than cadmium orange or orange chrome yellow. It is 
regarded as permanent when used alone and is a fairly 
good drier. 


The Dutch were the first to manufacture white lead, 
by what is known as the Dutch process, which con- 
sisted in submitting sheets of lead to the heat of de- 
composing manure and the vapors of vinegar. They 
found that the metallic lead was decomposed after 3 
or 4 months, and flakes of white replaced the metallic 
lead. The Dutch called this pigment scheel white, 
which means scale or flake, and when we use the term 
"flake white" we always refer to white lead. 

There is no question that flake white has certain 
defects, its principal one being that it is affected by 
sulphur gases. Another defect, which it has in con- 
junction with many other pigments, is its tendency 
to turn a painting yellow. Much of the yellowness 
of age is due to the decomposition which takes place 
between flake white and the oil or varnish used as 
a medium. 

At the same time, there are many pictures which are 


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hundreds of years old in which the flake white has 
been rejuvenated even after it has turned brown or 
yellow through the effect of gases. From a mechanical 
standpoint flake white is an unctious paint which 
works very well under the artist's brush, and when 
properly dry and glazed over with zinc, cannot be 
considered as fugitive or easily decomposed. It has 
the advantage over zinc, that it does not dry continu- 
ously, nor does it become' exceedingly brittle with age, 
but zinc has so far replaced it that there is really no 
reason why it should be promiscuously used. 


This is an artificial ultramarine blue which is abso- 
luely permanent to light, dries fairly well, and can 
either be used as a glaze or as a solid color. It must 
never be mixed with flake white, chrome yellow, 
chrome green, emerald green, or any pigment contain- 
ing a metallic base, excepting zinc. When mixed with 
zinc, any re-action that may take place is not visible 
or apparent, and for this reason is one of the most 
remarkable colors that we have. It is identical in 
composition with the genuine lapis lazuli or natural 
ultramarine blue, and the author cannot find that it 
is inferior in any respects to the natural stone. 

It contains a large amount of sulphur, which is 
very easily liberated in the presence of an acid, and 
in view of the fact that there is free acid in the at- 
mosphere in any city, it is well to bear in mind that 


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this pigment should never be mixed with any other 
pigment which the free sulphurous acid is likely to 
decompose. In the chapter on drying oils evidence 
will be adduced which will demonstrate that decompo- 
sition can take place only in the presence of water 
or moisture, so that the decomposition of ultramarine 
blue by acid with flake white can be prevented. 


The same as French blue or artificial ultramarine 
blue. It was first made in France but to-day Germany 
and the United States are the largest producers of 
ultramarine blue. When used alone or when mixed 
with zinc white it is absolutely permanent. There are 
no less than twenty shades of French ultramarine rang- 
ing from the palest cobalt to the deepest ultramarine. 
Other varieties are also made, such as green, violet, 
purple and red, which will be described in their proper 


The same as Chinese or English vermilion. 


French Veronese green is now a permanent pig- 
ment which does not possess very much opacity, but 


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can be readily mixed with any other pigment without 
any injurious effects. There is a story extant that 
Paul Veronese was the discoverer or inventor of this 
color, but it is doubtful whether this is true, in view 
of the fact that the production of hydrated oxide of 
chromium was evidently not known during the time 
that he lived. The true Veronese green named for 
him was more likely a clay colored with hydrated ox- 
ide of iron known to this day under the name of terre 
verte or green earth, although from the evidence which 
we have at hand, terre verte was used long before 
Paul Veronese was born. 

Veronese green is similar to the genuine chrome 
green, of which there are two kinds, the solid or 
opaque kind, known under the name of chromium 
oxide, and the transparent kind, known under the 
name of viridian. Viridian is sometimes known un- 
der the name of guignet green, but it is generally 
believed that guignet green is the oxide of chromium 
and not the hydrated oxide. 

It must be borne in mind that the hydrated oxide 
is a transparent color similar to a lake, and the ox- 
ide of chromium is an opaque pigment with intense 
hiding power. Both the oxide and the hydrated oxide 
are very permanent under any and all conditions, and 
can be mixed with other pigments with the excep- 
tion that the hydrated oxide and madder lake show 
some slight decomposition, but as has been properly 
pointed out, there is seldom, if any, opportunity, where 


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madder lake must be mixed with oxide of chromium 
to produce any given shade. 

Veronese green is a good drier and a reliable color. 


This is the ordinary white lead of commerce which 
is generally a very pure article, and is identical with 
that which the house painter uses. As such, it is not 
by any means the best foundation white, and cannot 
compare with a mixture of zinc oxide and white lead. 
For foundation purposes, such a mixture dries very 
well, and produces a surface which is neither too 
hard nor too soft, and after it has dried sufficiently 
hard, presents a surface to which other pigments ad- 
here very well. Such a surface has what is technically 
known as "tooth," so that when we speak of a pig- 
ment having "tooth," we refer to a physical surface 
to which other colors adhere properly. 

Foundation white may be made by the painter of a 
mixture of ordinary house painters' pigments, such as 
zinc white and white lead ground in linseed oil. It 
should be thinned only with turpentine so as to dry 
with a gloss. A little picture varnish (mastic dis- 
solved in turpentine or damar varnish) may be mixed 
to give elasticity but as these varnishes become brittle 
in time, fat oil (a fatty linseed oil) is preferable and 
a small quantity in foundation white is to be recom- 


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This is a true organic color with which the bile 
of the gall bladder is strongly tinted. When this 
bile is combined with lime and magnesia, it forms small 
nodules known as gall stones. It has its origin dur- 
ing the time when the ancients used almost any ma- 
terial which had tinctorial power, but as it possesses 
no particular merit and is exceedingly fugitive, it is 
not to be recommended for painting. 


Gamboge is a semi-soluble resin which is obtained 
from a particular tree in India, Ceylon and Siam. It 
is a coloring matter which has many of the character- 
istics of the yellow coloring matter in linseed oil, in 
fact, a chemical examination of it indicates that it is 
analogous to xantophyll and is not as fugitive as 
the yellow coloring matter obtained from turmeric, 
Persian berry, etc. We find it on the market in com- 
bination with alumina as a base, and as it has no 
hiding power whatever, it must be regarded as a stain 
or a true lake, for it is quite transparent. It is seldom 
sold in its pure state, and as an oil color, the dye which 
gamboge contains is mordanted on alumina as a base. 
It bleaches somewhat when exposed to strong sun- 
light but recovers its color again when placed in the 
dark, which is characteristic of the coloring matter 
of many of the vegetable oils. It is of a true resinous 


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nature, and therefore acts like a varnish gum, for it 
dries with a considerable gloss. It is not very stable, 
and while it may dry fairly well by itself, it acts sim- 
ilar to bitumen, retarding the drying of other colors. 
It is therefore not to be generally recommended. 


It is very unfortunate that in the early 70^5 when 
the dye known as cosine was invented, many brilliant 
lakes were made for the painter, which exceeded in 
strength and effectivenss any coloring matter that had 
been known before that time. There are two shades of 
geranium, the bluish and the yellowish, both of them 
exceedingly brilliant, some of which are precipitated 
on alumina and some on minium or red lead. In any 
case, geranium lake is so fugitive when made of cosine, 
that in 24 hours it begins to bleach, and many a painter 
has had his work completely destroyed by the use of 
pigments of this class. It is unfortunate that these col- 
ors were ever sold to painters. They should under 
no circumstances be used. The madder lakes easily 
replace geranium lake and should be used instead. 


When this pigment is made of a very bright form of 
madder it is safe to use it as a glazing color, as it is 
perfectly permanent. It is like all the madders which 


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are easier to use as glazes than in mixtures with any 
pigments which may have an ultimate effect, that is, 
the color will change in time. It dries very slowly and 
must not be mixed with ochre, raw sienna or flake 


Ordinarily this pigment is French ochre toned with 
chrome yellow, and the painter should not use it, for 
it is far preferable to use ordinary ochre, toning it, if 
necessary, with cadmium yellow. All the ochres have 
a slight tendency to darken upon exposure. They 
must not be mixed with any of the lake colors, but 
when mixed with any of the mineral colors are prac- 
tically permanent. Ochres all dry very well and when 
once dry are permanent. 


This pigment is prepared in various ways, and is 
generally conceded to be a fugitive color which has 
little or no value. When made of an aniline dye 
precipitated on alumina it will fade within a week, but 
when made of zinc yellow and Prussian blue diluted 
with alumina, it will retain its brilliancy for many 
years. There is another variety on the market which 
is made of Dutch pink or quercitron bark extract and 
Prussian blue, which is not as permanent as that made 
from zinc yellow. The color is not to be recommended. 


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This is a new pigment of the aniline series which is 
exceedingly brilliant and probably ten times as strong 
as quick silver vermilion. In shade it approximates 
a mixture of light and dark English vermilion, but in 
tinctorial power it is remarkably strong. It is much 
more permanent to light than vermilion, and like ver- 
milion it has a tendency to darken and not to fade. 

Its composition is similar to a proprietary red known 
as helio fast red, and is made by one of the large ani- 
line manufacturers in Germany and they probably 
named it in honor of the American artist, Birge Har- 

This pigment possesses some analogies to the parani- 
traniline colors, but has the advantage of not bleed- 
ing. In other words, after it is dry, and when white 
is painted over it the red does not bleed through 
and turn the white into a brown as is the case with 
para reds. 

Harrison red may be said to be permanent when 
thoroughly diluted with alumina lake and white ; it 
does show slight traces of decomposition after three 
months' exposure to the sun, but not sufficient to 
condemn it, and it may be said that the only disad- 
vantage concerning this color, known at present, is 
its inability to dry. When Harrison red is mixed with 
oil it sometimes remains absolutely moist and smeary 
for six or seven weeks, which, of course, is a serious 


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disadvantage. At the same time the addition of a 
drier or a drying oil changes the brilliancy of its 
shade, so that it might be well in the use of this color 
to reduce it only with turpentine and then expose it to 
the light. It mixes well with madder lake without 
showing very much decomposition. 


This pigment is similar to the green lakes just de- 
scribed, with the exception that it has some hiding 
power. Some manufacturers, in order to make it more 
permanent, use a mixture of orange chrome yellow, 
Prussian blue and alumina, which is not as brilliant as 
the pigment made from yellow lake or gamboge, but 
it is much more permanent. 

One sample examined by the author appeared to 
be a mixture of Prussian blue and raw sienna. Such 
a mixture is permanent and dries well. 

INDIAN BLUE (Sec also Indigo) 

This color is obtained from the leaves of certain 
plants which are found principally in India. Within 
the last few years it has been made the subject of 
research, as in the case of madder, so that it is now 
manufactured artificially from coal tar. The pigment 
present in artificial indigo is identical with that in the 
natural, but the artificial color is purer. In its over- 


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tone it is similar to Prussian blue, but is much weaker, 
and somewhat transparent, having all of the character- 
istics of a lake color. It dries poorly, and when a 
manganese or lead drier is added to it it is quickly 
decomposed. When it is exposed to the sunlight it 
fades rapidly. It is, therefore, useless for artistic 


Indian lake is a deep red lake which is assumed to 
be the lake that exudes from the tree from which 
gum shellac is recovered, and is one of the lakes which 
was probably used by Sir Joshua Reynolds, which tend- 
ed to destroy his pictures to such a great extent. In per- 
manency it is better than carmine, and not by any 
means as good as madder, and like all organic lakes 
is quickly decomposed when mixed with some of 
the iron oxide colors. It is fugitive and unreliable, 
dries very badly and should not be used. 


Indian purple is a complex mixture originally made 
by taking a weak form of Prussian blue and mixing it 
with vermilion. As such, it was very deep toned and 
muddy, but was fairly permanent. Later on, carmine 
was added to this mixture, but it was found that, al- 
though the brilliancy of the colors was enhanced, it 


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was less permanent than before. Nowadays it is 
made by coloring or mixing ultramarine blue with' 
madder lake, during the process of manufacture of 
the madder, and is regarded as a fairly permanent 
color. It can be readily duplicated on the palette. 


This is a true oxide of iron which contains no water 
in its combination, is extremely permanent, and can 
be generally recommended when it is unsophisticated. 
Unfortunately a number of manufacturers of artist 
tube colors spoil this good and permanent color by 
adding a lake in order to enhance its brilliancy, and 
in doing so destroy the permanent value of the pig- 
ment. The name Indian red is supposed to have or- 
iginated from two sources; the first, because a native 
form of hematite or red oxide of iron which contains 
silica was found, and is still found, in the Orient, par- 
ticularly in Persia, and, in the second place, from the 
further fact that the North American Indians used the 
native red ochre or hematite as a wash for the wig- 
wams, and as a coloring matter for personal decora- 
tion. In either case, the colors chemically are the 
same and are bright red oxides of iron. Much of the 
Indian red, however, which is used by color makers, 
is artificially prepared by burning copperas (sulphate 
of iron), until the acid is entirely driven off, and 
only the oxide remains. When this is washed it forms 


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a bright red, solid color which can be mixed with 
nearly every other permanent pigment, and may be 
regarded as fairly permanent, with one or two excep- 
tions. Upon long and extreme exposure the bright 
Indian red loses its brilliancy and turns darker, which 
is due to the chemical change or decomposition from 
the ferric to the ferrous state. The ferrous oxide of 
iron is a black oxide with which the artistic painter is 
not acquainted. The ferric oxide of iron is the bright, 
red oxide. The darkening effect of Indian red is due 
to the slight change from the ferric to the ferrous 
oxide. The same is true when Indian red is mixed 
with zinc oxide to produce a flesh tint. The author 
exposed a sample so made for three years to the bright 
daylight, and at the end of three years a very slight 
darkening effect had taken place, but inasmuch as 
artistic paintings are rarely, if ever, exposed to the 
bright sunshine throughout the entire year, Indian red 
must be regarded as one of the permanent and reliable 

Indian red dries very well and has enormous hid- 
ing power (opacity). When mixed with zinc oxide 
to produce a ground for flesh tints it is very reliable. 
There are many shades of Indian red. Some produce 
a violet when mixed with white and others a dis- 
tinct pink or rouge. All are permanent when pure. 
When Indian red is toned with madder lake it is 
frequently called tuscan red or Pompeian red. Indian 
red does not decompose madder lake. 


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This color is similar in many of its characteristics 
to gall stone yellow, and inasmuch as it is made from 
the excrement of camels, its coloring matter is same- 
what similar to the biliary coloring matter, and while 
it is brilliant and transparent, it is just as fugitive as 
gall stone yellow, and is not to be recommended. It 
dries badly. 


This is a color extracted from the indigo plant which 
grows in the East Indies, and has been in use for many 
centuries. It is used both as an oil color and a water 
color but possesses no particular advantage. As an 
oil color indigo dries very slowly, fades when exposed 
to light, is destroyed or reduced when mixed with 
chrome yellow, white lead and the majority of metallic 
paints. It can be safely substituted by a mixture of 
Prussian blue and lamp black, or better still, by a mix- 
ture of Antwerp blue and lamp black, Antwerp blue 
being a reduced form of Prussian blue. It is of doubt- 
ful value, and it is a question whether any of the old 
painters used it to any great extent. While it is ac- 
cepted that it makes a very desirable green when mixed 
with raw sienna or a yellow lake, it is not as good as 
a mixture of Prussian blue and raw sienna, and as yel 
low lake in almost any form is fugitive the resulting 
color is not to be recommended. 

Indigo should therefore be excluded from the palette. 


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This is the same as Dutch pink or yellow lake, its 
name is a misnomer, because it is a transparent olive 
yellow, and not a paint. It is quite fugitive. It dries 
very poorly and should not be used. 


Ivory black is prepared from charred ivory, and 
contains only about 20% of carbon black, the balance 
of it being phosphate of lime or bone material, but it 
is unlike any other black, on account of its intensity. 
In fact, it is so black by comparison, that on an ivory 
black ground a stripe of lamp black is distinctly dis- 
cernible, or visa versa, a stripe of ivory black will make 
a black mark on lamp black. It is perfectly perma- 
nent and dries very well, and can be mixed indiscrim- 
inately with any other permanent color. 


This is also known under the name of bulliant yel- 
low, its name being a translation from the French. 
It is made in two ways, the one producing a permanent 
and the other an unreliable pigment. The permanent 
brilliant yellow is made of zinc yellow mixed with 
zinc oxide to give it hiding power, and is a brilliant, 
permanent color. By the other method one part chem- 


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ically pure lemon chrome yellow is mixed with twenty 
parts of white lead. The latter is stronger and has 
more hiding power than the former, but is easily af- 
fected by sulphureted hydrogen, and is not as perma- 
nent as the zinc yellow. It dries very well and should 
be used alone. 


This is merely a bluish shade of madder, very strong, 
brilliant and permanent, and ranks with all the other 
madder lakes. It dries very slowly and for flower 
painting is absolutely permanent when used as a glaze 
over a dry ground. It is frequently mixed with ivory 
black to produce a brown lake. 


This is prepared in several ways. Some manufac- 
turers make it similar to the formulas of brilliant yel- 
low just described. Others mix chrome yellow and flake 
white. Formerly, it was made by grinding the mineral 
orpiment, which is a sulphide of arsenic, and has been 
used as a pigment for several thousand years. When 
used absolutely alone, it has some qualities which may 
'recommend it, but it is almost impossible to use a pig- 
ment of this kind alone, for the mere addition of a 
small amount of drier is sufficient to destroy the 
brilliancy of orpiment, hence manufacturers have been 


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led to make it by using zinc yellow or chrome yellow 
as a base. In any case, orpiment is useless and not to 
be recommended, as King's yellow has all the charac- 
teristics of brilliant yellow with which it is analogous. 


This pigment is now made by condensing the smoke 
of various burning coal tar oils. It is almost a pure 
form of carbon, is intensely strong, and differs from 
carbon black and ivory black in that it produces a dis- 
tinctly bluish gray shade when mixed with white. It 
is a very bad drier, and remains very flexible for a 
long time. Therefore, f^is always advisable, when a 
gray is to be made, that zinc oxide and lamp black 
be used, because the flexibility of lamp black overcomes 
the brittleness of zinc. Lamp black can be mixed with 
any other pigment. It is not chemically acted upon, nor 
is it acted upon by light. It can be mixed with any 
pigment and is absolutely inert. When it refuses to 
dry it may be exposed to the sunlight and fresh air, 
which hastens the drying very considerably. Lamp 
black, however, may be mixed with drier without any 
harm, but sunlight and air are more reliable. 


This is similar in some respects to artificial ultra- 
marine blue, but not as permanent. It is made by 


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mixing artificial ultramarine blue and Prussian blue. 
An old variety was made by mixing genuine cobalt 
blue and Prussian blue. In either case it bleaches 
slightly, and is not as reliable as either cobalt blue 
or ultramarine alone. It dries better than ultramarine 
and can be produced on the palette. It has a tendency 
to turn slightly greenish in the dark but revives on 
exposure to light. 


This may be either chromate of barium or a chro- 
mate of strontium, and has many of the characteristics 
of a brilliant yellow lake, and at the same time is much 
more permanent than any organic color. It can be 
mixed with almost every color, excepting those con- 
taining hydrated oxide of iron, such as siennas or 
ochres, and where a yellow lake is desired of excep- 
tional brilliancy, a mixture of constant white and 
lemon yellow produces very desirable results. It is 
similar in many respects to chromate of zinc, and may 
be regarded as a reliable, permanent color. It cannot 
supplant zinc yellow and may therefore be omitted. 


The author finds that some of the light reds on the 
market are evidently brilliant shades of Indian red, 
and almost pure oxide of iron. Others are mixtures 


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of burnt sienna and oxide of iron, and still others are 
forms of burnt ochre, which are oxides of iron and 
clay. In any case, any one of these three colors are 
perfectly permanent and reliable, and the description 
for Indian red would hold good for light red. All 
of the light reds are good driers, and we find that from 
the earliest days of decoration as practiced by the 
Egyptians down to the present day, light red has been 
used by all painters. When mixed with zinc white 
or flake white the tendency for light red is to darken 
slightly and become brownish, but this is not percepti- 
ble for many years, and only occurs upon extreme ex- 
posure. It is a very reliable pigment. 


These are lakes prepared from the madder root that 
differ somewhat as to shade and brilliancy. They are 
all similar in composition to the alizarins, and are all 
permanent, except when mixed with the ochre and 
sienna pigments, white lead, chrome yellow, chrome 
green and metallic pigments of that nature. The mad- 
der lakes should only be used as glazes, and can very 
safely be mixed with constant white to produce bril- 
liant and more roseate shades. They all dry slowly 
and when they "sadden" they can be revived by plac- 
ing .them in the sunlight for a few hours. 


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Magenta is one of the newer, aniline pigments, 
precipitated on an alumina base, and while extremely 
brilliant when freshly applied, has absolutely no value 
whatever as an artistic color. In one week, magenta 
bleaches perceptibly, and is very easily affected by any 
of the inorganic pigments. It is not to be recom- 
mended and should not be used. 


This pigment was known to the Grecians, and is also 
a semi-precious jewel. It is sometimes found in huge 
slabs and used in the making of table tops, pedestals 
and other articles of ornament. It is a brilliant miner- 
al green streaked with a light green, and is a hy- 
drated carbonate of copper. Whether made artifi- 
cially, or prepared from the green mineral, it has the 
serious defect that it is affected by sulphur gases, and 
may either bleach or darken according to the nature 
of the gas which attacks it, but when properly var- 
nished and used alone, it is quite permanent. In view 
of the fact that there are other greens which are ab- 
solutely permanent, and from which similar shades 
may be prepared, there is no necessity for the use 
of malachite green. 

This pigment dries well and has been used for over 
three thousand years. It was well known to the an- 
cient Egyptians. 


Permanent Painting 



This is a natural color, unburnt, and similar in 
composition to raw umber. It is a very good drier, 
but must not be mixed with any of the lakes. Of it- 
self, it is a perfectly permanent pigment. 


This has sometimes been called extract of burnt 
sienna, because it is composed entirely of hydrated 
oxide of iron which has been properly precipitated and 
washed. It is very uniform in composition, and identi- 
cal with ordinary iron rust. It has generally been re- 
garded as a perfectly safe and permanent pigment, but 
this is not a fact. It attacks not only every lake 
with which it may be mixed, but is such a hard drier 
that it has a tendency to crack. It makes most beau- 
tiful, clear yellowish tints when mixed with zinc 
white, and when diluted with constant white, it has 
every characteristic of a lake, but owing to its chem- 
ical composition, it darkens upon extreme exposure, 
and the beautiful clear tones which it produces when 
mixed with white have a tendency to sadden upon 


Permanent Painting 


This is similar in all respects to mars orange, with 
the exception that it has been heated until the water 
of combination is driven off, and while it is identical 
with light red, it is much more transparent. It is a 
soft, permanent color, and although it is supposed to 
affect a number of lakes, it is very doubtful whether 
it does, but in order to practice precaution, it may be 
wise not to mix it with several of the lakes, but to 
use the lakes over it as a glazing color. It dries well, 
and is permanent. 


Mars violet is a very dark form of crocus martis, or 
Indian red. It is similar to the color known as caput 
mortum, and is nothing more nor less than a purple 
oxide of iron. It has a distinctly bluish shade, is very 
durable, dries well and is permanent to light. 


Mars yellow has also been called extract of ochre, 
or extract of raw sienna, because it is composed of 
the coloring matter of these two pigments. It fre- 
quently cannot be distinguished from a good quality 
of raw sienna, is permanent, dries well and is trans- 
lucent. It has been suggested frequently that mars 
yellow, or a good form of raw sienna should be used 


Permanent Painting 

as a substitute for the yellow lakes, and this can easily 
be done when these colors are mixed with constant 
white. As a glazing color, it is permanent, but, like 
all of the oxides of iron which contain water in combi- 
nation, it must not be mixed with an organic color 
such as any one of the lakes. 


This is a most undesirable though brilliant color, 
which begins to deteriorate almost the same day that 
it is applied. It is made from one of the fugitive 
aniline dyes, but could be made from permanent dyes, 
although there is no sample on the market which the 
author has examined that is fit for the artist's palette. 
In these modern days mauve lake should be replaced 
by a permanent mauve which would not be difficult to 
produce, and which would be as permanent as madder, 
but such a pigment does not exist, to the best of the 
author's knowledge. 

MEGILP (Sec Copal Megilp) 


This is a nondescript color which is made from a 
solid gray or gang rock, and tinted with the blue ot 
lapis lazuli. It has very little strength or tinctorial 
power. Its principal characteristic is its high price. 
It can very easily be imitated by a mixture of cheaper 


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colors which would be just as permanent. It has, 
however, no defects. It dries well, is permanent to 
light, and permanent when mixed with every pigment 
excepting those containing lead, which it does not 
affect as quickly as ultramarine blue, because its sul- 
phur content is so extremely low. Zinc white, lamp 
black and a trace of ultramarine produce the same 


Minium is a very brilliant orange red. It is a 
pure form of oxide of lead made by calcining flake 
white. Its shade is similar to that of orange vermilion. 
It is perfectly permanent to light, but is very suscepti- 
ble to the action of sulphureted hydrogen. It has the 
same shade as scarlet quick silver vermilion, and is a 
powerful drier. It is best to use it alone and it ought 
to be varnished as soon as possible. When not var- 
nished it bleaches to a straw color on long exposure, 
which is due to the acid gases in the air. 


These are mixtures of white lead, raw umber, burnt 
umber, lamp black, ivory black, etc., and on account 
of the lead content are affected by sulphureted hy- 
drogen, which tends to darken them. When these 
colors are made on a zinc white base they are much 


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more permanent, in fact, may be regarded as perfectly 
permanent. They dry well and can be reproduced on 
the palette. 


Mummy is a form of bitumen or asphaltum used 
as a glazing color. It was supposed to be permanent, 
because the bitumen or asphaltum which is found in 
the mummy cases was assumed to be permanent, be- 
cause it was so old, and had not undergone any change 
in its drying condition ; but when used as an oil color, 
it is treacherous, and should not be used for the same 
reason that no asphaltum or bitumen should be used. 
It retards the drying of an otherwise good color, and 
is to be condemned from every point of view. 


The old Naples yellow was a mixture of litharge, 
or oxide of lead and sulphide of antimony, a most un- 
stable color which frequently decomposed itself, but 
for many years color manufacturers have imitated it 
by mixing cadmium, yellow, ochre and white, and some 
manufacturers produce better and more permanent 
Naples yellow than others. This is due to the fact 
that this pigment may be a mixture of deep orange cad- 
mium and zinc white, in which case it is exceedingly 
permanent, but where the zinc white is replaced by 


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white lead or flake white, it is easily affected by sul- 
phureted hydrogen. Except for convenience there is 
no necessity for having this as a separate color, for 
the painter can mix up any shade of Naples yellow 
to suit himself. 


Naples yellow reddish is the same as any Naples yel- 
low, except that the orange form of cadmium has 
been used, or a slight tinge or oxide of iron added to 
the zinc white. Either form of imitation Naples yel- 
low is superior to the natural and is practically per- 
manent, which cannot be said of the genuine. 


This is a complex mixture of ultramarine, sienna, 
lamp black or ochre and lamp black, and under all 
circumstances is an excellent color which is perfectly 
permanent. It can be reproduced on the palette and is 
bought only for convenience. It dries well. 


Neutral orange is a permanent color also of a com- 
plex mixture. It has many of the characteristics of 
mars orange, but sometimes is made by mixing a bril- 
liant yellow, free from lead, with a bright oxide of 
iron. When made from cadmium yellow, it is quite 


Permanent Painting 

expensive, but when made from zinc yellow or barium 
yellow, it is not quite as strong in hiding power, but 
is very desirable. The color dries well. 


New blue is an artificial ultramarine blue of the 
cobalt shade, perfectly permanent, excepting when 
mixed with white lead or flake white, or any other 
color containing lead. It must not be used in con- 
junction with a lead drier. By itself it is absolutely 
permanent and dries well. 


This is a form of white lead or flake white, which 
is described under the heading of flake white. 


Olive green is a beautiful pigment, composed of a 
mixture of yellow lake and Prussian blue. It is not 
permanent and should not be used, for it dries badly 
and fades. 

Olive green may be made of raw sienna and Prus- 
sian blue, in which case it dries well and is absolutely 
permanent, and when mixed with constant white 
(blanc fixe) or diluted with blanc de lacque (alumina 
hydrate) produces a lake of any degree of transpar- 


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Olive green or olive green lake must not be mixed 
with any other lake. 


Olive lake is a mixture of ultramarine blue and yel- 
low lake which fades and is unreliable. The mixture 
described under the paragraph on olive green is to be 
recommended in its place. 


Olive madder is a misnomer, there being no true 
madder lake which is green, but a mixture of ultra- 
marine blue and certain forms of raw sienna or Prus- 
sian blue and sienna produce an olive green which 
is exceedingly permanent, and, although somewhat 
muddy, can be very safely used, except in the presence 
of lead pigments. It is a very good drier. 



A scarlet madder mixed with an aniline yellow or a 
yellow lake like Dutch pink or Italian yellow. This is 
a most undesirable pigment which remains wet for 
weeks and in the end, fades. There is, however, no 


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reason why a lake color of an orange shade cannot be 
made from the para yellows or para reds, but the au- 
thor has not found any on the market. 


Orient madder is a deep variety of cadmium yellow, 
and has all the permanent characteristics of the cad- 
mium series of colors. It is diluted with blanc de 
laque (alumina hydrate) and has almost as much trans- 
lucency as a true lake, but dries very slowly. 


Orpiment is the same as King's yellow, and was 
originally a sulphide of arsenic. Some samples of 
orpiment still found on the market are the arsenic 
color, and as such are not recommended. The same 
shade may be produced by mixing various yellows 
and whites. The true orpiment is not to be recom- 

OXIDE OF CHROMIUM (See French Veronese Green) 

(See French Veronese Green) 


This is a muddy grade of ochre found in England, 
very permanent, and containing more oxide of iron 


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than the French ochre. It is sometimes used as a base 
for red pigments, and that is done when the ochre 
is heated to a red heat so that all the water of combi- 
nation is driven off, and the hydrated iron is changed 
into a true oxide. It is perfectly permanent, except 
when mixed with the lakes. When burnt and sold 
under the name of burnt ochre, it is similar to some 
of the shades of mars orange. 


Payne's gray is a mixture of black, ochre and blue, 
and is permanent if the blue used is ultramarine. The 
water color Payne's gray is a different mixture which 
is not permanent. It dries slowly. 

PERMANENT BLUE (See Ultramarine Blue) 


This may be a mineral color composed of phosphate 
of manganese, and when so prepared is not permanent 
by any means, and does not deserve the name, or it 
may be a mixture of cobalt blue and madder lake 
which is more permanent, but the painter is referred 
to other violets which can be made from permanent 
pigments, and should be used in place of the so-called 
permanent violets. 


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Violet ultramarine is the most reliable of the violets 
but should not be mixed with any color excepting, per- 
haps, constant white (blanc fixe) and zinc white. It 
is as transparent as a lake, and remains brilliant even in 
the bright sunlight. 


This is a pure zinc oxide described under the chap- 
ter on zinc white, dries slowly and is permanent. 


This is a mixture of chromate of barium and zinc 
white, or chromate of zinc and zinc white. The color 
is rather weak, but can be safely used with chromium 
oxide or the viridian colors, and is not affected by 
sulphur gases or light. Generally it is a very safe col- 
or to use, but dries rather slowly. It is also known 
as canary yellow. 


This is a weak variety of madder lake made from 
alizarin or madder root. It is permanent and safe to 
use when not mixed with ochre, lead, or any one of 
the chemical pigments. When used as a glaze over a 
perfectly dry surface, it is quite permanent, although 
bright sunlight bleaches it to a very slight extent 


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after the lapse of two years. It is a bad drier, but 
under no circumstances must it be mixed with a drying 
oil, because all the drying oils contain metallic sub- 
stances in solution which act deleteriously on all of 
the madders. The best way to dry pink madder or any 
madder lake is to use well settled, old, raw linseed oil, 
and then expose the picture to the bright light, for the 
sun will dry madder lake without decomposing it. As 
this color is largely used as a glaze it is the frequent 
cause of cracks. 



This is a pale variety of chromate of zinc, or it may 
be a mixture of chromate of zinc and chromate of 
barium, or it may be composed of chromate of zinc 
and oxide of zinc. In any one of these cases, it is 
a safe, permanent, reliable color. It dries fairly well, 
particularly when exposed to light. It is not affected 
by sulphur gases but cannot be mixed with a lake 


Prussian blue is a chemical compound which is made 
from the cyanogen obtained from certain organic sub- 
stances such as leather, horn, feathers, etc. There 


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is a great variety of colors made in this manner, all 
of which are ferro-cyanides of iron. They are called 
steel blue, Chinese blue, Milori blue, bronze blue, Prus- 
sian blue, Paris blue, Antwerp blue, etc. All of these 
colors are intensely rich, strong and inimitable, yet 
the pigment cannot be safely recommended for in- 
discriminate mixtures. When Prussian blue or any 
of its analogues are mixed with white lead of flake 
white, the rich sky blue or greenish tint which will 
result bleaches over night into a sickly green, but on 
exposure to the light for an hour, it comes back to its 
original color. This is a chemical effect known to 
chemists as "reduction." For certain purposes, Prus- 
sian blue is safe and permanent. Several of the ultra- 
marines mixed with black will give a shade or tint 
which will approximate Prussian blue, but rather than 
take any chances the painter is advised to avoid the 
use of Prussian blue, or any color which may be partly 
composed of this material, excepting for sky effects 
when mixed with zinc. The so-called chrome greens 
are Prussian blue mixed with yellow, and although they 
are strong and brilliant, they lose their brilliancy 
after some years. 

Prussian blue is a good drier, and when used alone 
is perfectly permanent, provided it is unglazed or 
painted over a solid ground. When varnished with 
an oil varnish, or when mixed with megilp or copal, 
it turns green, but used by itself the author can pos- 
itively state that in three years it shows no change. 


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It has very great opacity, and is similar to indigo in 
appearance. It is far superior to indigo and is a good 

The Prussian blues can be safely mixed with zinc 
and the sienna colors. 


When Prussian blue is heated, and the cyanogen 
driven off, it is converted into a form of oxide of iron, 
which has a rich, deep, chocolate color that is abso- 
lutely permanent and perfectly reliable, and is such a 
stable compound that when mixed with madder lake 
it does not decompose the madder. It is not only a 
good drier, but a flexible drier, and after a lapse of 
many years Prussian brown remains soft and flex- 
ible without showing any tendency whatever to crack. 
It is frequently used mixed with burnt umber, in 
order to prevent the burnt umber from drying too hard. 
It is also made by subjecting Prussian blue to ammonia, 
but this pigment is not as stable as the color made by 
the hot or burning process. 


Prussian green is a mixture of yellow lake and 
Prussian blue, undesirable and unreliable. A better 
and more permanent Prussian green can be made by 
mixing raw sienna with Prussian blue. 


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PURE SCARLET (See Scarlet) 


Purple lake is a deep, crimson lake, generally made 
from the extract of hypernic, which is a variety of 
wood lake, and is not much more permanent than one 
of the aniline lakes. It possesses no quality which 
should recommend it in preference to purple madder, 
which is very much more permanent. 


This is a deep variety of madder lake, just as per- 
manent as any one of the madders, but it must not 
be mixed with a metallic drier, or with any one of the 
lead pigments or ochres. It is a slow drier, but its 
drying can be hastened by exposure to sunlight. 


This is one of the safest pigments to use, and works 
well with every color, except the lake colors. In com- 
position it is similar to ochre, with the exception that 
it is four times as strong, or in other words, contains 
four times as much iron, but the iron which it con- 
tains is the hydrated form, hence the color is translu- 
cent. It is composed of a native earth originally found 
in and near Sienna, Italy, and was used by the ancient 


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painters. There are a large variety of raw siennas, 
some of which approach closely a yellow lake. All 
of them are more or less adapted for the purpose of 
glazing. Sienna when used in dilute form is almost 
transparent, and under any circumstances excepting 
those mentioned, is absolutely permanent with the 
possible exception that it darkens very slightly after 
many years. A mixture of raw sienna and white lead 
or zinc white becomes more mellow in time. It is a 
good drier. 


This pigment is somewhat similar to the raw sienna, 
with the exception that it contains manganese, and 
is found not only in Italy but in certain parts of Ger- 
many, Cypress and Turkey, and among paint manu- 
facturers the name of Turkey raw umber is applied 
to practically all the umbers which are found. in south- 
ern Europe. 

It is a translucent color having a peculiar olive 
brown shade, and cannot be said to be uniform for 
there are raw umbers which vary in shade from a light 
yellowish olive to a very deep brownish green. It is 
a most excellent drier, but has a decomposing effect 
upon lake colors. It may be very safely used as a 
glaze, and like the siennas it has a tendency to darken 
very slightly. 

It is a very strong drier and is often used like burnt 
umber with black to hasten the drying of the black. 


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It is permanent when used alone and permanent when 
mixed with blacks, umbers, siennas, ochres and zinc 


It is very likely that Rembrandt, Ruben and Franz 
Hals used madder lake, but Franz Hals evidently was 
better acquainted with its technical use than any other 
painter of his time. The brilliant, rubicund flesh tints 
are almost perfectly preserved to-day, and a minute 
careful examination reveals the fact that he used 
madder lake as a glaze only after the under-coats were 
thoroughly dry. 

Why these particular shades of madder should be 
called Ruben's madder and Rembrandt's madder is 
merely a question of sentiment, as none of the lakes 
known under that name differ materially from any 
ether madder lakes. In any case, they are reliable 
when kept away from the ochre or lead colors, and are 
perfectly reliable when glazed over the dry colors 
which otherwise decompose them. 


Roman ochre is a native ochre, identical in compo- 
sition with French ochre or Oxford ochre, and has 
some of the characteristics of a mixture of ochre and 
raw sienna. It is stronger in tinting power than the 


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French ochre, which would indicate that it is a species 
of sienna, perfectly permanent and reliable, excepting 
with lakes. 


The description of Roman ochre answers this, only 
it is a different shade. 

ROMAN SEPIA (See Sepia) 


This is a yellowish shade of madder, and the general 
description of all the madder lakes applies to this pig- 


Rose lake is an aniline color, precipitated on alum- 
ina, exceedingly brilliant when first applied, but per- 
fectly unreliable and not to be recommended for any 
painting purposes whatever. 

(See Madder Lake) 


Originally this was a transparent green lake which 
was extracted from myrtle leaves, and known under 


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the chemical name of chlorophyll. Whether used as 
an oil color or a water color, it is thoroughly unre- 
liable, because if it is a green made from the green 
coloring matter of certain plants, it will turn to a 
brilliant yellow in the presence of white lead during 
the process of drying, and will turn dark green again 
after it is exposed to the air. It is unreliable and not 
to be recommended. The sap greens sold in tube 
colors, however, are mixtures of yellow lake, Prussian 
blue or ultramarine blue, and in any case are not per- 
manent to light and therefore should be excluded. It 
dries very badly. 


When this color is made of a very deep orange 
chrome yellow, it can easily be detected by its exces- 
sive weight. A tube of it lying on the palm of the 
hand feels as if it were lead. In reality it is a lead 
color toned with orange mineral. It may be made also 
entirely of orange mineral, which is a form of red 
lead and minium. Its principal defect is that it is 
easily attacked by sulphureted hydrogen. Inasmuch 
as scarlet red and orange mineral are both identical 
in shade with orange vermilion, it is much safer to use 
orange vermilion, although orange mineral or scarlet 
red, when properly varnished and not mixed with any 
color, is permanent. 


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This is madder lake mixed with orange mineral, and 
lately the author has seen samples of scarlet lake which 
were composed of orange mineral stained with paran- 
itraniline red. Madder scarlet has a slight tendency 
to bleach, and a para scarlet has a slight tendency to 
darken. The safest course would therefore be to use 
any shade of quick silver vermilion, and when dry 
glaze it with madder. 

SCARLET MADDER (See Madder Lake) 
SCARLET VERMILION (See Orange Vermilion) 


Sepia is either the juice of the cuttle-fish, which 
this fish uses as a form of natural protection, or is 
the extract of walnut. The cuttle-fish, when passing 
through a dangerous zone, obscures the water by eject- 
ing an organic coloring matter, and then hides in this 
darkened zone. As an oil color, neither of these ex- 
tracts are of much use, although walnut stain gives a 
very transparent glaze, but takes so long to dry that 
it cannot be recommended. Painters, as a rule, mix 
their own sepia for oil color, one form being a mixture 
of madder lake and burnt umber, which is very 
permanent, and another form being carbon black and 


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vandyke brown. However, lampblack, raw sienna and 
burnt umber make a very permanent sepia which, for 
glazing, is thoroughly reliable, and which dries very 


This is a precipitated white lead. The painter can 
very well omit this pigment from his palette for zinc 
white or permanent white could be substituted. 


This is a yellowish shade of blue, composed, as a 
rule, of ultramarine blue very faintly tinted with zinc 
yellow. It is a very permanent color and dries well. It 
is easy for the painter to mix his own shades for skies. 


This is powdered blue glass, which has been col- 
ored with oxide of cobalt. It has, of course, no hiding 
power, and the principal excuse for its use is the lum- 
inous effects which it produces. It is perfectly per- 
manent, and finds its principal use for painting trans- 
parencies on glass. When sold as an oil color, in tubes, 
it is really ground and mixed in a vehicle of gum 
arabic and glycerine, and unless the painter is familiar 
with it, it is likely to curl from any oily surface to 


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which it may be applied, and thus defeats the object 
of its use. 


This is a translucent clay colored with red oxide of 
iron, and when the red oxide, from which it is made, 
is thoroughly burnt and washed, it may be regarded 
as permanent under all conditions. It dries very well 
and works freely under the brush. 


This is a bluish green transparent color which is a 
clay tinted with a green hydrated oxide of iron. It 
has always been regarded as a permanent glazing col- 
or, but it is permanent only after it is varnished, but 
never before. The iron oxide in terre verte is of 
such a chemical nature that it changes slightly, and this 
process of decomposition is quite well understood by 
chemists. It has a disastrous effect upon the lake 
colors, and therefore it is much safer to use it alone. 


This is a French oxide of lead made by calcining 
white lead. It has the brilliant color of orange quick 
silver vermilion, and is perfectly permanent to light. 
It is quickly affected by sulphureted hydrogen, and 


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bleaches or pales slightly when subjected to sulphur 
acids. These defects, however, are not apparent after 
it is varnished. It is much cheaper than quick silver 
vermilion, but not as reliable. It is an excellent drier. 
It is also used as a base for making the vermilion 
substitutes, because it does not saponify or become 
hard in the tube. There are a large variety of these 
substitute vermilions, some of them stained with para 
red and some stained with madder. The para red 
vermilions darken in the sunlight, but the madder 
vermilions are more permanent. As a ground color 
Tour's red or orange mineral is very reliable. 


This is a species of ochre similar to Roman ochre, 
and is really a form of raw sienna. The description 
of raw sienna applies to this pigment. 


When madder lake is precipitated on Indian red 
as a base and a pigment is formed which has a dull, 
rose shade that may be regarded as absolutely perma- 
nent. There is a painting in the National Gallery of 
London, by Hubert Van Eyck, of a man with a rose 
colored cloak, in which the colors evidently used were 
oxide of iron and madder lake over a white ground. 
The author finds that some of the Indian reds on the 


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market are oxides of iron stained with madder, and, 
as stated in a previous chapter, when oxide of iron 
is thoroughly burnt so that it contains no water of 
combination, it does not decompose madder lake. 
Tuscan red dries very well and is very reliable. 


Ultramarine blue whether it is artificial or genuine 
is chemically the same, with the one difference that 
the genuine ultramarine blue is the powdered mineral 
known as lapis lazuli, and ordinarily is the blue known 
under that name, but the mineral itself is found at times 
in an impure state either admixed with slate or gang- 
rock, or contaminated slightly with other minerals, and 
the genuine ultramarine blue may run, therefore, from 
a very deep blue to a very pale ashen blue, in fact, 
the lapis lazuli which lies adjacent to the gang-rock is 
ground up and sold under the name of ultramarine 
ashes, which is nothing more nor less than a very 
weak variety of genuine ultramarine blue. 

From the standpoint of exposure to light or drying 
quality, the artificial ultramarine is just as good as the 
genuine, and the only advantage that the genuine has 
over the artificial is that the genuine is not so quickly 
affected by acids as the artificial is. 

It may be of interest to know that in 1814 Tessaert 
observed the accidental production in a soda oven at 
St. Gobain (France) of a blue substance which 


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Vanquelin declared to be identical with lapis lazuli. 

In the following year the same observation was 
made by Huhlmann (at St. Gobain, in a sulphate 
oven) and by Hermann in the soda works at Schoene- 
beck (Prussia). 

In 1824 La Societe'd'Encouragement pour Indus- 
trie offered a prize of 6000 francs for the production 
of artificial ultramarine which, in 1828, was awarded 
to J. B. Guinet, a pharmacist of Toulouse, later of 
Lyons, who asserted that he first produced ultramarine 
in 1826. Vanquelin was one of the three "trustees" 
holding the secret contrary to the rule of the Societe'. 

In December, 1828, Gmelin of Goettingen explained 
his process of making artificial ultramarine before the 
Acadamie des Sciences of Paris. He used as the basis 
a mixture of precipitated hydrate of alumina and silex, 
which was, later on, superseded by China clay (kaolin). 

In 1829 Koettig produced ultramarine at the Royal 
Saxon Porcelain factory at Meissen. 

In 1834 Leverkus, at Wermelskirchen, and later at 
Leverkusen, on the Rhine, produced the pigment. 

In 1837 Leykauf & Zeltner, at Nueremberg, intro- 
duced the manufacture of ultramarine into Germany. 

Prices of ultramarine in 1830 : 

Natural $50.25 per pound 

Artificial 4.05 per pound 

Ultramarine is composed of alumina, silica, soda 
and sulphur, as follows : 

Ultramarine (pure blue) containing a minimum of 


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silica seems to be a more or less well defined chemical 
body, i. e., a double silicate of sodium and aluminum 
with sulphur as a poly-sulphide of sodium, or as a 

Poor Rich 

Ultramarines in Silica in Silica 

Alumina . . 29 23.70 

Silica 38.50 40.80 

Soda 22.50 19.30 

Sulphur 8.20 13.60 

Undecomposed 1.80 2.60 

100.00 100.00 
R. Hoffman gives the following proportions: 

Alumina Silica 

Poor in silica 100 128 

Rich in silica 100 170 

In resistance to alum the different products rank as 
follows : 

Lapis Lazuli first 

Artif. Ultramarine (rich in silica) second 

Artif. Ultramarine (poor in silica) third 

In 1859 Leykauf discovered the purple and red 
varieties of ultramarine which were produced by the 
action of hydrochloric and nitric acids, and by heating 
ultramarine with calcium chloride, magnesium chloride 
and various other chemicals. In this way there were 
produced a variety of shades, and by the addition of 
such substances as silver, selenium and tellurium, even 
yellow, brown, purple and green shades were produced. 

All of these colored ultramarines are exceedingly 


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permanent to light, but have little or no hiding power, 
and when used alone are perfectly permanent. 

The ultramarine blue which is made by means of a 
potash salt instead of a soda salt has every analogy 
of color and shade to genuine cobalt blue, excepting 
that the genuine cobalt blue is not affected by acids 
as rapidly as the artificial. 

ULTRAMARINE, GENUINE (See Ultramarine Blue) 


This may be called a weak variety of ultramarine 
blue either artificial or natural. It is obtained when 
artificial ultramarine blue is mixed with clay, or when 
natural lapis lazuli is mixed with the gang rock 01 
native earth that surrounds it. Both the genuine and 
the artificial ultramarines are perfectly permanent when 
used alone, and permanent when mixed with zinc 
white and cadmium yellow, but not permanent when 
mixed with flake white or any color that may contain 


Vandyke brown is a native earth, and is identical 
with cassel brown. It is popularly supposed that Van- 
dyke first used this pigment as a glazing color in place 
of bitumen, and as it is composed of clay, iron oxide, 
decomposed wood and some bituminous products, it 


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is fairly translucent and adapts itself for glazing pur- 
poses. Because of the bitumen which it contains, it 
dries very badly and very slowly, and has a tendency 
to crack or wrinkle if the under-coat is either too hard 
or too soft. Concerning its permanence, there can 
be no doubt that it darkens considerably on exposure 
like all the bituminous compounds, and many painters 
use a permanent glaze composed of a mixture of ochre 
and black tinted with umber. Where the effect of age 
is to be simulated, there is no objection to its use. 


This is a madder lake mixed with either Vandyke 
brown, umber or black. If the artist prepares the pig- 
ment himself, it is safer for him to use lamp black and 
madder lake, for the iron content of Vandyke brown 
or umber have a decomposing effect upon the madder. 


This is a pure bright form of oxide of iron which 
in the early days was a native hematite, selected by 
the artist for brilliancy of color. It was also made by 
the early Italian painters by calcining ochres and 
siennas, and then selecting the product as to shade and 
brilliancy. Venetian red is permanent, dries well, and 
is reliable, but has a tendency to darken when exposed 
to bright light. The Venetian red of commerce is 


Permanent Painting 

a mixture of gypsum and oxide of iron which is more 
permanent to light than the pure oxide of iron, and 
neither fades nor darkens, but should not be mixed 
with any lake. It dries well, and has complete hiding 
power. It is frequently used as a mixture with white 
as a ground color for portrait painting, but should al- 
ways be permitted to dry most thoroughly before being 
painted over, for the reason that it dries so hard that 
it may crack under subsequent painting. 


This color is produced by subjecting copper to the 
action of vinegar, and is therefore a form of acetate 
of copper. When used alone, and properly protected, 
it is fairly permanent to light, but has a violet chem- 
ical action on every one of the organic pigments and 
lakes, and affects many of the inorganic pigments. It 
is popularly supposed that the ancients used it as a 
glazing color, but this is very doubtful, in view of the 
fact that the ancients worked more with malachite 
green than they did with verdigris. It is thoroughly 
unreliable, and should not be used, even though it 
may not fade. It is affected by sulphur gases and dries 

(See French Vermilion) 


Permanent Painting 


Verona brown is a fancy name given to a mixture of 
burnt sienna and burnt umber, or raw sienna and burnt 
umber. It is a permanent color, unaffected by, but 
has a deleterious action on, some of the lakes. As 
a glazing color, it is reliable, and is to be recommended. 


It is supposed that Paul Veronese was the first 
painter to use this pigment, and if he did, it is very 
likely that the green he used was a mixture of raw 
sienna and permanent blue (lapis lazuli). There is a 
tradition that the original Veronese green was terre 
verte or ground green earth, but green earth is so 
exceedingly weak and such an indistinct green that 
it is more than likely that the former combination was 
the original green. When raw sienna and permanent 
blue are mixed they form a permanent and reliable 


It would appear that this pigment is made from the 
hypernic wood or Brazil wood, and as such is thor- 
oughly unreliable from the standpoint of permanence. 
Similar shades can be made by mixing madder with 
other pigments which would be permanent, and there- 


Permanent Painting 

fore violet carmine, when made from a wood lake, 
has no place on the painter's palette. 


This is a form of chrome oxide which is quite trans- 
parent, and while not very brilliant as compared, for 
instance, with emerald green, is a thoroughly safe and 
reliable color. It evidently has been known for many 
years, and when exposed to the light does not show 
any perceptible change, nor is it affected by any gases 
in the atmosphere. It has all the characteristics of 
oxide of chromium, and has the same chemical com- 
position with the addition of water as a hydrate or 
water of combination. In its effect it is similar to a 
lake, and can be used for glazing. It forms a valuable 
pigment for the painter, and is thoroughly reliable. 
It dries well. 


This is generally made by mixing a sienna or ochre 
with madder lake. As a mixture for oil painting, this 
mixture is very undesirable, for the iron in the ochre 
or sienna decomposes the madder, and as a water color 
the same result is obtained, with the exception that it 
takes much longer to manifest itself. This color is 
not to be recommended. 


Permanent Painting 


This pigment is a misnomer, there being no such 
thing as yellow carmine. The pigment sold is a yel- 
low lake similar to Italian pink or Dutch pink, fades 
very rapidly, is quickly decomposed, and has no merit 


All yellow lakes which the author has examined 
are in the same class with Dutch pink, Italian yellow, 
yellow carmine, etc., and are thoroughly undesirable. 
The author has, however, made a yellow lake from 
paranitraniline which is intensely powerful, has ten 
times the tinctorial power of quercitron lake or Dutch 
pink, and has shown itself absolutely permanent when 
used alone for over one year, but when mixed with 
the metallic pigments, it does not bleach but darkens. 
The author has not made this with any commercial 
purpose in view, but simply as a matter of experi- 
ment, for the purpose of producing a permanent yel- 
low glazing color. There is no reason why the reputa- 
ble tube manufacturers should not produce a perfectly 
permanent yellow lake. 


This is a native clay colored with about 20 per cent, 
of iron rust previously described under the head of 


Permanent Painting 

Roman ochre, etc., very permanent, and can be mixed 
with other mineral pigments. It has the same destruc- 
tive effect upon the lake colors that the sienna earths 
and other ochres have. When exposed to the bright 
light for a year, it has a tendency to darken very 
slightly. It is a good drier. 


This is a pure form of zinc oxide, permanent under 
any and all conditions, but having the defect of drying 
very hard. To overcome this it should always be mixed 
with pure raw unbleached linseed oil, and although it 
is a very slow drier at first, its drying is progressive, 
for it evidently combines with the linseed oil. It has 
been suggested by some writers that zinc oxide should 
be mixed with beeswax or castor oil, or other semi 
and non-drying compounds, but such advice should by 
no means be followed. When zinc white is mixed with 
a semi or non-drying medium and exposed to bright 
sunlight in the summer time, it is very likely to sag 
and run, even years after it has been applied. There 
is a great deal of discussion concerning the trans- 
parency or lack of opacity of zinc white, but this is 
largely a fiction. Any painter, who uses a color in 
microscopic quantities, cannot expect it to hide the 
pigment over which it is placed. Zinc white liberally 
applied, one one-hundredth of an inch thick, for in- 
stance, will totally obscure black, while many painters 


Permanent Painting 

apply their colors to the depth of one-eighth of an inch. 
Zinc oxide is popularly supposed to be unaffected by 
sulphur gases. This is not strictly true. It is affected 
by sulphur gases just as quickly as white lead, the 
difference being that the result in the case of zinc 
oxide is not visible, because the sulphur compounds 
of zinc, such as the sulphide with sulphureted hydro- 
gen, sulphite of zinc with sulphurous acid, and sul- 
phate of zinc with sulphuric acid, are all white com- 
pounds, just as white as the zinc oxide itself, while 
lead forms a black compound with sulphureted hydro- 
gen. Hence, we assume that these gases do not affect 
zinc, because we cannot see the result, but chemically 
we know that they do. Zinc oxide can be mixed with 
any color and may be freely used. 


Because Zinnobar red or Zinnober was a permanent 
red, some manufacturers have made a Zinnobar green, 
and have sold it more or less on the implication of ex- 
cellence on account of the name. 

Zinnobar green of commerce; which is now made 
by only a few tube manufacturers, is a mixture of 
Prussian blue and chrome yellow, sometimes reduced 
with whiting and sometimes with zinc. In any case, 
this color should not be used, and while it is not as 
fugitive as emerald green, and not as quickly affected 
as a green lake, there are too many conditions under 

'[ 173 ] 

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which this color may fail, and therefore it is not to be 
recommended. It is quite natural to suppose that this 
color has all the defects of Prussian blue and chrome 
yellow both as to decomposition and actinic quality, 
yet a sample of Zinnobar green, deep, used alone and 
allowed to dry before being varnished over, will not 
show any decomposition for two years, but as there 
are other more permanent greens for the painter to 
use, it is far wiser for him not to use Zinnobar green 
on his palette. 


Permanent Painting 


THE following is a list of pigments which can 
be mixed with each other or used separately, 
and which are not affected by light, nor do 
they interact upon each other : 

Lamp black 

Ivory black 


Plumbago, or any form of carbon or carbonaceous 

Zinc white, or any form of oxide of zinc 

Permanent white, or any form of artificial barium 

Venetian red 

Indian red 

Burnt umber 

Raw umber 

Raw sienna 

Burnt sienna 
and the various mars reds, orange, brown and purple. 

Oxide of chromium, transparent 

Oxide of chromium, viridian 

Terre verte 


Permanent Painting 

The vermilions made from sulphide of mercury. 

Blue, ultramarine blues, native or artificial 

Brown, burnt umber and all oxide of iron browns. 

Cadmium yellow to orange. 

From a chemical standpoint these are practically 
the only colors which may be mixed with each other 
that will not react, and I have purposely omitted a 
number of so-called permanent colors in this schedule, 
such as, for instance, the madder colors, which I find 
will decompose when mixed with ochres, as well as if a 
faint trace of acid is left in the oil. I have omitted 
the madder lakes, for although they are permanent, 
they cannot be indiscriminately mixed with other pig- 


Permanent Painting 


NEARLY all of the pigments are poisonous, and 
as some artistic pamters from time immemorial 
have been accustomed to use the fingers in 
shading and in grading tints, particularly in portrait 
work, it is essential to know which of the colors are 
poisonous and which are not, as pigments may easily 
be absorbed through the skin as well as by taking them 
internally. In medical practice, for instance, a solu- 
tion of iodine is painted on the skin and is ab- 
sorbed in that way into the system. So likewise it 
is possible to absorb colors through the skin, particu- 
larly under the finger nails. The unbroken skin is 
supposed to be impervious, yet lead poisoning may 
result through the actual manipulation of lead pig- 
ments, and it behooves the painter to be very careful 
in the use of his or her fingers in the manipulation of 
certain pigments. 

The worst results are produced by the use of lead 
pigments, for it appears that the arsenic and copper 
pigments which are more poisonous if taken inter- 
nally are not so easily absorbed through the skin. 

First in the list of dangerous pigments is flake white, 


Permanent Painting 

which is easily absorbed and produces lead poisoning. 
Many painters have the habit of blending colors on 
the palms of their hands either with a brush or with 
a finger, and due care should be taken to remove the 
colors as soon as the desired effect is produced on 
the canvas. The pigments which are absorbed into 
the skin are flake white, chrome yellow, chrome green, 
Naples yellow, red lead and orange mineral. These 
are the lead colors principally used. The arsenic col- 
ors are Paris green, emerald green and orpiment. 
There are a number of other poisonous colors such 
as mercury vermilion, verdigris, etc., which are, how- 
ever, not frequently used by the painter. Prussian blue 
which is a cyanide blue is supposed to be a poisonous 
color, but in reality it is not. Zinc white, permanent 
white, baryta white and ultramarine are non- 
poisonous. All the blacks, siennas, umbers, ochres, car- 
mine, red oxides and many of the lakes are non- 
poisonous, but the best rule to follow is to clean the 
hands with soap and water after having stained them 
with colors. 


Permanent Painting 







T has been demonstrated by numerous writers, and 
particularly by Prof. Chas. Baskerville * that in all 
large communities there exists sulphuric acid in the 

* Baskerville made a numL'er of determinations of the sulphur dioxide 
content of the air of New York City. Stations were established 
throughout greater New York, including the high office buildings, parks, 
subways, and railroad tunnels. Very variable results, as might be 
expected, were obtained. 

The determinations may, in part, be thus summarized: 

Locality SO a in parts per million 

Elevated portion of the city near a high stack 3.14 

Various parks 0.84 (maximum, others negative) 

Railroad tunnels 8.54 31.50 

Subway None 

Downtown region 1.05 5.60 

Localities near a railroad 1.12 8.40 

A total quantity of 1300 tons of sulphur dioxide, calculated as 80 
per cent, sulphuric acid, is discharged every twenty-four hours into 
the air of New York City from the combustion of coal alone. 

From an economic standpoint, this is an enormous, partly avoidable, 
waste, while from a sanitary standpoint, any disinfecting action it 
exerts on the organic wastes arising from the streets is greatly counter- 
balanced by its general injurious effects, t 

t Paper read before the Society of Chemical Industry, Feb., 1909. 
These may be thus summarized: 


Permanent Painting 

1. Its presence in atmospheric air is a menace to hygienic welfare, 
since it has serious effects on susceptible persons and particularly 
exerts deleterious effects upon the respiratory organs. SOa in the air 
of manufactories tends to produce bronchitis and anaemia. 

2. It exerts an injurious action on plant life. In this action, it 
is less violent than hydrogen chloride, sulphuric acid, and fluorine; 
but owing to its less solubility and consequent slower condensation it 
has a wider distribution. In Manchester, England, in 1891, it was 
learned that the greatest injury to plant life is due to the emana- 
tions from dwelling houses. 

3. The condensation of sulphurous acid with moisture in fogs and 
hoar frosts seriously affects goods printed with colors sensitive to 
sulphurous acid; for example, logwood, Brazil wood shades, and 
aniline black. 

4. Sulphur dioxide proceeding from the combustion of coal and 
coal-gas, the quantity of which in towns is considerable, necessarily 
destroys the ozone of the air. This may account for the definite 
variations of the proportion of ozone observed at various localities. 

5. In anti - cyclonic periods the amount of sulphur dioxide rises con- 
siderably and at such times this increase is accompanied by at least 
as large an increase in the amount of organic impurities. (Baskerville.) 

Where there is much soft coal consumed in a certain district, the 
trick and stone become coated with particles of carbon. This deposit 
causes marble and other light-colored materials to take a funeral as- 
pect and not only that, it causes some stone to decay. St. Paul's 
Cathedral in London is a notable example of this as shown by Church. 
In other cases the sulphur gases attack the mortar or cement. This 
is due to the fact that sulphur dioxide accumulates on the soot and other 
solids, where it is oxidized to sulphuric acid. 

In the manufacture of sulphuric acid used for purifying crude oil 
and for other purposes, the escape of sulphurous acid fumes from the 
Exits often constitutes a decided nuisance. Not only is vegetation 
injured and often killed in nearby sections, but the health of the 
residents in the neighborhood is injuriously affected by breathing the 
poisonous vapors, throat troubles of a chronic nature often resulting. 
However, injuries are often attributed to sulphuric acid factories, 
when in fact they are innocent. Compliance with the requirements 
of the English Alkali Act of Lord Derby, effectually prevents any 
serious injury. Temporary discomfort and even serious injury may 
result, however, through an accident in the works. Manufacturers 
wish to avoid and also prevent the escape of sulphur dioxide, for all 
that is lost diminishes profits. Corrective devices are applied by the 
works' owners. 


Permanent Painting 

air, and many of the colors which we have regarded 
as permanent to light, are not permanent to the ef- 
fects of acid gases. In a general way this rule ap- 
plies also to the colors affected by sulphureted hydro- 
gen. If we take, for instance, red lead, which is the 
red oxide of lead, and expose it to the air of a city, it 
apparently bleaches white. The same red lead when 
varnished and covered with glass may be exposed for 
ages, and will not be affected. We note the former 
change particularly on steel structures like bridges 
which have been painted with red lead and on which 
the color sometimes bleaches from a pure scarlet to 
a pale pink. On rubbing such a surface with linseed 
oil and turpentine the original color comes back in all 
its brilliancy. Upon investigation, we find that the 
sulphuric acid has affected the color and formed a 
minute crystalline surface of sulphate of lead, which 
is white. Chrome yellow will be affected in the same 
way. Improperly washed prussian blue will likewise 
bleach, and flake white is affected in identically the 
same manner, with the exception, that the change 
cannot be noted by the eye, but if a flake white surface 
which has been exposed to the elements is rubbed with 
a black cloth, a white chalky deposit will stain the 
cloth. This is known as chalking, and mural decora- 
tions which cannot very well be varnished and pro- 
tected, should therefore be executed with pigments 
that are not affected by the acid gases of sulphur. Near- 
ly all the pigments are affected, with the exception of 


Permanent Painting 

the blacks. The ochres, siennas and the earth colors 
which are exceedingly permanent show this defect 
to a less degree, although, as compared with the chem- 
ical colors like prussian blue, the lakes, cadmium yel- 
low and the lead colors, but paintings which are kept 
in a pure atmosphere under glass are necessarily pre- 
served, and water colors are more susceptible than 
any other form of painting. 

These acid gases are produced during the burning of 
coal, and as the combustion of coal is more or less 
incomplete, soot may deposit upon the surface of a 
painting, particularly decorations in a locality where 
soft coal is used. This is particularly true of locali- 
ties like Sheffield, England ; Pittsburgh, U. S. A., and 
Chicago, U. S. A. There are, however, many paint- 
ings such as, for instance, the Horse Fair by Rosa 
Bonheur, which cannot be covered by means of glass, 
and paintings of such magnitude should be kept care- 
fully varnished to prevent any disintegration from the 
acid gases. The canvas upon which most of these large 
paintings are executed is either composed of flax 
which is equal to linen, or cotton fibre, or a mixture 
of both, and these fabrics are particularly susceptible 
to the action of acid gases. The chemical method of 
determining the difference between cotton and wool 
consists in dissolving out the wool with caustic pot- 
ash, which leaves the cotton, intact, and vice versa, we 
may take an acid re-agent which will not attack the 
wool but will dissolve the cotton. In time, therefore, 


Permanent Painting 

the canvas would be weakened, and its strength re- 
duced through the action of these moist acid gases, 
which demonstrates the advisability of either painting 
the back of a canvas, or mounting it upon a wood 
or metal support. In the case of a very large paint- 
ing a sheet of metal could not be fabricated which 
would be sufficiently light and rigid for this purpose, 
but a seasoned wood support could be constructed. 
However under all circumstances the back of the can- 
vas should be painted to prevent this disintegration. 

In case a canvas is very thin, and there is danger 
of the protecting coat on the back soaking through, it 
is advisable to put on a thin glue size before applying 
the protective coat. 

In this list must be included all colors which contain 
metallic bases, such as lead, copper and antimony. 
The colors which are affected are as follows : 

Flake White 
Silver White 
Cremnitz White 
Lemon Yellow made 01 

chrome yellow 
Chrome Yellow 

Naples Yellow 
Chrome Green 
Paris Green 
Emerald Green 
Zinnober Green 


Permanent Painting 


UNDER normal conditions, if you take heavy 
pigments like white lead, oxide of iron, etc., 
and grind them in linseed or poppy oil, the 
oil will eventually float to the top and the pigment 
will settle hard to the bottom, yet nearly all the tube 
colors remain soft and fresh, and apparently the law 
of gravity is overcome in some way. 

A large number of the colors are kept in suspension 
because the manufacturer adds water to the oil, and 
makes an emulsion which keeps the pigment suspend- 
ed. This is particularly true of the whites, and it must 
be admitted that a small percentage of water added 
to the pigment or the oil during the process of man- 
facture does not do any ultimate harm, yet, some tube 
manufacturers use such an excessive quantity of water 
that where paint is very smoothly applied the water 
evaporates quite rapidly and leaves the subsequent 
film in a spongy, porous condition. If a picture were 
to be put away in a perfectly clean atmosphere free 
from dust no harm would result, or if the precaution 
were taken to place a sheet of glass over the picture 
and slightly away from it, the picture would dry in 


High power photo-micrograph of Flake White which 
contains too much water in its composition. The uneven 
surface presents an excellent lodging place for dust and 
dirt which are hard to rernoi'e. 

Permanent Painting 


Lis, if you take heavy 
ead, oxide of iron, etc., 
eed or poppy oil, the 

oil ihe pigment 

will arly all the tube 

I >arently the law 

Pt in suspen 

because the oil, and 
makes an en suspend- 
ed. Thi: . and it must 
be <: vater added 
to the { ; of man- 
facture d me tube 
manufa< tity of water 
that wh-. pplied the water 
evaporat the subsequent 
filnTirrrr ~~ ' i^-a picture were 
to flwHpnrtiiiT/. owiiqatiwoapHjptt free 

frofinra^So -He- tfiftaiflteeautioti 

bftsvUirb i< MV.^Q aanjtu^ , 

were taken to i over trie oicture 

and slightly awa re would dr 


1 <'***'* 

c <. c * ~ 

Permanent Painting 

a perfectly clean condition, and would remain so until 
it were varnished; but this is not the case, so that if 
we examine microscopically a paint film which con- 
tains excessive water, we find that the spongy, porous 
condition of the surface is a lodging place for dust 
and dirt which cannot be readily removed for obvious 
physical reasons, and as it seems advisable to add 
water to nearly all of the tube colors which will settle 
out rapidly and heavily, it is well to acquaint the 
painter with this fact in order that the picture be not 
subjected to a dry atmosphere which is dusty. 


Permanent Painting 






Madder Lake 
Antwerp Blue 
Prussian Blue 
Paris Blue 

Vermilion made of sul- 
phide of mercury 
Para Red 
Lithol Red 

Harrison Red 

Ultramarine Blue 

Cobalt Blue 

Hooker's Green (when 
made from Prussian 
blue and raw sienna) 


Flake White 

The foregoing list of colors must be used with some 
judgment. Many of these colors are permanent when 
mixed with some other colors, but decompose when 
mixed with each other. For instance, yellow ochre 
and madder lake when used alone are permanent, yet 
the two when mixed will decompose. 


Permanent Painting 




Bone Brown 
Alizarin Yellow 
Crimson Madder 
Carmine Lake 
Crimson Lake 
Brown Madder 
French Carmine 
French Carmine No. 2 
Orange Cadmium 
Capucine Madder 
Indian Yellow 
Brown Pink 
American Vermilion 

and as a rule all 

Rose Pink 

Transparent Black 


Scarlet Lake 

Rose Doree 

Alizarin Green 

Yellow Lake 

Payne's Gray 

Italian Pink 


Lamp Black 

Carbon Black 

Olive Lake 

Alumina & Prussian 

Sap Green 

Violet Carmine 

Vandyke Brown 
of the Lake colors 


Permanent Painting 



ONE of the greatest portrait painters who ever 
lived and the man who made the most fail- 
ures of his art, was Sir Joshua Reynolds, the 
obvious reason being that he was always after the 
search of the secret of the ancient masters, and as 
far as we can deduce, he never made a single inves- 
tigation and hardly ever painted two pictures alike 
from the technical standpoint. During three years 
of his career, he painted on an average one portrait 
every three days. He was just as careless at times 
in his imitative style as he was in the selection of his 
pigments, for many of his clients refused to accept 
the pictures after he had finished them, because 
they did not resemble the sitter. It was his custom 
to paint simply the face and the hands, and per- 
mitted his students to fill in the dresses and the 
background. In nearly every one of his pictures 
that has faded and decomposed only the face and 
hands are affected, the rest of the picture being in 
perfect condition. 

He kept a diary which was written in a jargon of 


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Italian, Latin, English and French, and every time 
he made a note, it appears as if he was sure that he 
had made a new discovery, and had at last found 
what he always thought was the Venetian secret. 

The principal cause of his failure was the fact that 
all lakes were probably the same to him, and he us- 
ually mixed a lake with ochre, which is, of course, a 
radical mistake. During his life time many of his 
pictures had faded until the faces assumed the ghastly 
tint which in medicine is known to be due to chronic 
anaemia where the skin blanches and assumes a yel- 
lowish gray, and the line of demarcation around the 
lips is obliterated. This effect in his pictures is due 
to the fact that the lake which he used was not always 
madder lake, but weaker lakes produced from berries 
and wood, although even madder lake is incompatible 
with yellow ochre and with the siennas and umbers, 
so that none of the effects which he produced were 

How strange is the comparison between the work 
of Sir Joshua Reynolds and that of Franz Hals and 
his contemporaries. Hals used practically the same col- 
ors but always glazed with madder lake after the un- 
dercoat was thoroughly dry. Painters, as a rule, 
know that no earth color or metallic color should be 
mixed with a lake, but yet a lake may be used over 
every one of the earth colors, including even ochre, 
provided the ochre has been allowed to become thor- 
oughly dry. The one possible exception to this may be 


Permanent Painting 

the use of madder lake mixed with English or Chinese 
vermilion, because vermilion is a very stable chemical 
compound and the madder lake is therefore not de- 
composed, with the possible exception that in time 
a mixture of madder lake and English vermilion will 
darken slightly when exposed to direct sunlight. 

If painters will limit the colors used on their pa- 
lettes to the least possible number and use only those 
which do not interact, as well as exercise a little 
judgment in glazing over colors only after they are 
thoroughly dry, absolutely permanent results will be 
obtained, and the mistakes made by the older men will 
not be without profit. 


Permanent Painting 



Abrasion in Cleaning Pictures 58 

Abrasion of Surface, When Necessary 59 

Absorption of Pigments through the Skin 177 

Academy Board 55 

Acid Gases, Action on Paint, of 181 

Acid in Oils 102 

Acetate of Copper 168 

Acetone 57 

Aging of Linseed Oil 78 

Albumen as Paint Medium 9 

Alcohol in Spirit Varnish 72 

Alizarin Colors 85 

Alizarin Green 87 

Alizarin Yellow 87 

Alligator Cracks, Cause of 89 

Alligatoring 46 

Almond Oil 1 1 

Alumina Hydrate 4 88 

Alumina White 88 

Aluminum 49 

Amber Black 96 

Amber Varnish 73 

Amyl Acetate as Solvent 57 

Amyl Alcohol as Solvent 57 

"Anatomy Lesson," of Rembrandt 86 

Ancient Painters ; Media Used by 10 

Ancient Pigments 22 

Aniline Yellow 87 

Antwerp Blue 88, 107 

Antwerp Blue, Effect of Light and Air on 152 

Arsenic Colors 178 

Artificial Cobalt Blue in 


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Artificial Cobalt Blue, as Cerulean Blue 106 

Artificial Cobalt Blue, in "Davey's Gray" 118 

Artificial Ultramarine Blue 163 

Artificial Ultramarine Blue, Composition of 165 

Artificial Ultramarine Blue, Effect of Acids on 121 

Artificial Ultramarine Blue, Action with Other Pigments. .112 

Artificial Ultramarine Blue with Prussian Blue 137 

Asphaltum 89 

Asphaltum, Effect of Light on 36 

Asphaltum as Bone Pitch 94 

Asphaltum Glaze 32 

Asphaltum from Mummies 144 

Asphaltum-glazed Paintings 62 

Aurelian 90 

Aurora Yellow (Cadmium Yellow) 101 

Barium Sulphate 37 

Baryta White 178 

Baskerville, Prof.; Analysis of the Air in Cities 179 

Benzene, (See Benzol) 

Benzine 69 

Benzine as a Solvent 57 

Benzine for Cleaning Pictures 58 

Benzol 69 

Benzol as a Solvent 57 

Benzol as a Paint Remover 58 

Bistre 91 

Bitumen 89 

Bitumen, Effect of Light on 36 

Bitumen, Harmful Effects of 46 

Bitumen from Mummies 144 

Bitumen in Vandyke Brown 167 

Bitumen Glaze, a Cause of Cracking of Paintings 41 

Blacks Used by the Ancients 24 

Black Pigments, Indirect Cause of Cracking 44 

Black Pigments, Nonpoisonous 178 

Black Pigments, Their Permanency 182 

Black Pigments, Use in Boiled Oil 79 

Black, Ivory 134 

Black Lead 91 

Blanc Fixe 115 

Bleached Linseed Oil 76 

Bleached Oils 77 


Permanent Painting 


Bleaching of Colors 181 

Bleaching of Lake Pigments 189 

Bleaching of Madder Lake 86 

"Bloom" on Pictures 62 

Blue Pigments of the Ancients 26 

Blue Black 92 

Blue, Cerulean 106 

Blue, Leitch's 136 

Blue Verditer 93 

Boiled Linseed Oil 78 

Bone Brown 94 

Bone Pitch 94 

Brazil Wood 30 

Brilliant Yellow 134 

Bronze Blue 107, 152 

Bronze Green 95 

Brown, Caledonian 103 

Brown, Cappah 103 

Brown Pigments of the Ancients 26 

Brown Lake 96 

Brown Madder 95 

Brown Ochre 96 

Brown Pink 97 

Brown, Prussian 153 

Brown Roman Ochre 99 

Brown Umber 103 

Burnt Carmine 98 

Burnt Sienna 99 

Burnt Umber 1 . 100 

Burnt Umber in Glaze to Imitate Asphaltum *. 90 

Burnt Umber, Action with Madder Lake 86 

Burnt Umber, Possible Effect of its Rapid Drying 46 

Cadmium Yellow IOI 

Cadmium Yellow, its Use in Bronze Green 95 

Cadmium Yellow, its Use in Golden Ochre 127 

Cadmium Yellow, Effect on Madder Lake 87 

Cadmium Yellow as Orient Madder 148 

Calcium Carbonate Used in the Gesso Paintings 26 

Calcined Ochre Used by the Ancients 23 

Calcined Sienna (See Burnt Sienna) 

Caledonian Brown 103 

Canvas, Action of Acid Gases on.. ..182 


Permanent Painting 


Canvas as a Foundation 48 

Canvas, Deterioration of 182 

Canvas for Oil Painting, Preparation of 53 

Canvas in Commercial Practice 53 

Canvas Mounting 57 

Canvas, Preparation of for Painting 51 

Canvas, Priming or Ground Coat Paint for 50, 51 

Cappah Brown 103 

Caput Mortuum (Mars Violet) 141 

Carbon Black 104 

Carbon Black in Burnt Carmine 98 

Carbon Black in Sepia Substitute 159 

Carbonate of Copper 139 

Carbon Tetrachloride as Paint Remover 58 

Carmine 104 

Carmine, Burnt 98 

Carmine, Madder 138 

Carmine Used in Indian Purple 130 

Carmine Lake 105 

Carnation Lake 105 

Casein Used as Medium 10 

Cassel Brown (Vandyke Brown) 166 

Cassel Brown Used by the Ancients 26 

Cassel Earth 106 

Castile Soap for Cleaning Pictures 59 

Cause of Cracks in Paintings 40 

Causes Affecting the Permanency of Paint Films 41 

Cennini, Cennino, on Oil and Varnish 20 

Cerulean Blue 106 

Cerusite, Known to the Ancients 22 

Chalking 181 

Charcoal in Blue Black 92 

Charcoal (Vine Black) 93 

Charcoal Gray 106 

Charred Bones, Used as Black Pigment by the Ancients . . 26 

Chemistry of Light 68 

Chinese Blue 107 

Chinese Blue in Antwerp Blue 88 

Chinese Blue (Prussian Blue) 152 

China Clay 1 

Chinese Vermilion 1 

Chinese White . ..108 


Permanent Painting 


Chlorophyll ( Sap Green) 157 

Chlorophyll in Oil 35 

Chlorophyll, Bleaching and Recovery of Color 158 

Chromate of Barium (Lemon Yellow) 137 

Chromate of Barium in Permanent Yellow 150 

Chromate of Lead 109 

Chromate of Strontium (Lemon Yellow) 137 

Chromate of Zinc ( Primrose Yellow) 151 

Chromate of Zinc (as Citron Yellow) no 

Chromate of Zinc in Cobalt Green 113 

Chromate of Zinc in Permanent Yellow 150 

Chrome Green 109 

Chrome Green, Absorption by Skin 178 

Chrome Green, Effect on Madder Lake 86 

Chrome Orange 109 

Chrome Oxide ( Veridian) 170 

Chrome Oxide (Veronese Green) 123 

Chrome Red 109 

Chrome Vermilion, Renovation of Paintings where Used. 59 

Chrome Yellow 109 

Chrome Yellow, Absorption by Skin 178 

Chrome Yellow, Effect of Acid Gases on 181 

Chrome Yellow, In Chrome Green 109 

Chrome Yellow, Tinting Material in Golden Ochre 127 

Chrome Yellow, Used in Zinnobar Green 173 

Cinnibar, Used by the Ancients 25 

Cinnibar Green no 

Citron Yellow no 

Classification of Pigments 81 

Clay, Base for Davey's Gray 118 

Clay, Basis of Brown Ochre 96 

Clay, Occurrence in Black Lead 92 

Clay, As Terre Verte and Terre Rose 161 

Cleaning of Pictures 56 

Climatic Influences Affecting Paintings 45 

Coach Makers' Japan 49 

Coach Makers' Japan, Utility in Preparing Surfaces for 

Painting 51 

Coach Painting, Application of Principles of, to Prepara- 
tion of Surfaces 48 

Coating to Protect Wooden Panels 43 

Cobalt Blue . . .in 


Permanent Painting 


Cobalt Blue, as Component of Leitch's Blue 137 

Cobalt Blue, as Component of Permanent Violet 149 

Cobalt Green 113 

Cobalt Violet 113 

Cobalt Yellow ( Aurelian) 90 

Cochineal Bug, Color from the 104 

Cochineal Lake 117 

Coefficient of Expansion, Consideration of 45 

Cologne Earth 114 

Color Photography ; Application of Theory 65 

Colors Affected by Coal Smoke and Sulphur Gases 179 

Colors Used by the Ancient Painters 25 

Complimentary Color Sensations 67 

Composition of Ultramarine . 165 

Compression and Tension in Paintings 42 

Constant White 114 

Copal Resins, Color Changes of 36 

Copal Varnish 71 

Copal Megilp 74, 115 

Copper as Foundation of Paintings . . 48 

Copperas, Crude Material Used in Manufacture of Indian 

Red 131 

Copper Carbonate Used by Ancient Painters 23 

Cork Black 116 

Cotton (Canvas) Foundations, Deterioration of 182 

Cracking Due to Climatic Conditions 43 

Cracking Due to "Compression and Tension" 42 

Cracks Due to Alcohol Varnishes 44 

Cracks Due to Selective Drying 44 

Cracks Due to Unequal Drying Rates of Colors 46 

Cracks Due to Varnishing an Undried Picture 44 

Cracking of Paintings 40 

Cremnitz White 116 

Crimson Lake 117 

Crimson Madder 117 

Crocus Martis 141 

Currents of Air, Acceleration of Drying by 75 

Cuttlefish Juice (Sepia) 159 

Damar Varnish 71, 72 

Damar Varnish versus Mastic for Coating Pictures 73 

Darkened Pictures, their Renovation 59 

Davey's Gray 118 


Permanent Painting 


Deep Madder 118 

Description of Pigments 81 

Deterioration, Photo-Chemical, of Oil Paintings 32 

Dried Oil Films, Action of Solvents on 58 

Driers 74 

Drying of Linseed Oil 79 

Drying Oils, When First Used 10 

Drying Oils 76 

Drying of Linseed Oil, The 80 

Dutch Pink (Brown Pink) 97 

Dutch Pink, its Use in Orange Madder 147 

Dutch Process White Lead 120 

Earth, Cassel 106 

Earth, Cologne 114 

Eastlake, Sir Charles, On Early Use of Oil in Painting... II 

Effect of Dry Atmosphere on Paintings 40 

Eggs Used as Vehicle by Ancient Painters 19 

Egyptians, Pigments Used by the 25 

Emerald Green 1 18 

Emeraud Green 

Emerald Green, Absorption by the Skin 178 

Emery Cloth for Use in Surfacing 49 

English Vermilion in Paintings ; Renovation of 59 

Eosine Colors (Geranium Lake) 126 

Eraser for Cleaning Pictures 60 

Ethyl Alcohol as a Paint Solvent 57 

Expansion of Paint Films, Unequal 50 

Extract of Gall 125 

Extract of Vermilion 1 19 

Facius on First Use of Oil in Painting n 

"Fatty Linseed Oil" 78 

Ferric Ferrocyanide Blue 107 

Field's Orange Vermilion 120 

Filter for Canvas 42 

Flake White 120 

Flake White, Action of Acid Gases, etc., on 181 

Flake White, Renovation of Darkened Pigment 59 

Flake White, Toxic Qualities of 177 

Flesh Tints, Composition of, Used by Franz Hals 85 

Flexible Canvas Foundation 51 

Flexible Varnish 72 

Foundation White 124 


Permanent Painting 


French Blue 121 

French Ochre 127 

French Ultramarine 122 

French Varnish 72 

French Vermilion 122 

French Veronese Green 122 

Fusel Oil as a Solvent 57 

Gall Stone 125 

Gamboge 125 

Geranium Lake 126 

Geranium Madder 126 

Gasoline Used for Cleaning 59 

Gasoline as a Solvent 69 

Gesso 9 

Glazing with Burnt Sienna 100 

Glue Sizing on Canvas 51, 53 

Gmelin, Process of Making Artif. Ultramarine Blue 164 

Golden Ochre 127 

"Gold Size" Japan 49 

Grain Alcohol as a Solvent 57 

Graphite (Black Lead) 91 

Graphite, Retarding Effect on Drying of Oil 79 

Gray, Charcoal 107 

Gray Shade of Black Lead 92 

Gray, Mineral 142 

Green, Alizarin 87 

Green, Chrome 109 

Green, Cobalt 113 

Green, French Veronese 122 

Green, Malachite 139 

Green, Mountain 139 

Green, Prussian . 153 

Green Pigments Used by the Ancients 23, 26 

Green Earth, Possibly the Green Used by Paul Veronese. 123 

Green Lake 127 

Guignet Green ..123 

Guignet, Production of Artif. Ultramarine Blue by 164 

Gum Damar, Effect of Light and Age on 35 

Gypsum, Found in Venetian Red 168 

Gypsum, Used on Gesso Paintings 22 

Hairline Cracks 42 

Hals, Franz, Use of Madder Lake by 85, 156 


Permanent Painting 


Hard-Drying, Semi-Elastic Paint for Backing Canvas 50 

Hard-Drying Colors, Effect of Application of, Over 

Graphite 92 

Harrison Red 128 

Helio Fast Red 128 

History of Painting 9 

Honey, Its Utilization as a Paint Medium 10 

Hookers Green 129 

Humidity, Effect of, on Paintings 54 

Hydrated Oxide of Cooper (Blue Verditer) 93 

Hydrate of Alumina 88 

Hypernic Lake (Purple Lake) 154 

Hypernic Wood, Pigment Made from 169 

Imitation of Bistre 91 

Imitation of Natural Sepia 159 

Imitation of the Yellowing of Age 72 

Impressionism, The School of 64 

Indian Blue 129 

Indian Lake 130 

Indian Purple 130 

Indian Red 131 

Indian Red, Dark (Mars Violet) 141 

Indian Yellow 133 

Indican 23, 24 

Indigo Used by the Ancients 23, 24 

Indigo 133 

Influence of Moisture on Canvas 41 

Italian Pink 134 

Italian Pink ( Brown Pink) 97 

Ivory Black 134 

Ivory Black, In Mono Chrome Tints 143 

Ivory Soap Used in Cleaning Old Paintings 59 

Jaqueminot Madder 135 

Jan Steen; Method of Glazing Flesh Tints by 86 

Japan Varnish Used for Priming 49 

Jaune Brilliant 134 

Kauri Gum Varnish 71, 73 

King's Yellow 135 

Koettig, Production of Ultramarine Blue by 164 

Krems White 1 16 

Lake, Brown 96 

Lake, Carmine 105 


Permanent Painting 


Lake, Carnation 105 

Lake, Indian , 130 

Lake, Madder 138 

Lake, Mauve 142 

Lakes Known to the Ancients 27 

Lakes, Effect of Boiled Oil on 79 

Lake White 88 

Lampblack 136 

Lampblack ( Bistre) 91 

Lampblack, Harmful Effects of the Slow Drying of 44, 46 

Lampblack in Composition of Brown Madder 96 

Lampblack in Composition of Flexible Priming 51 

Lampblack, Slow Drying Action of 79 

Lampblack, Utilization in Mono-Chrome Tints 143 

Lapis Lazuli (Natural Ultramarine Blue) 163 

Lapis Lazuli as the Coloring Matter of Mineral Gray 142 

Lapis Lazuli Used by the Ancients 22, 26 

Lapis Lazuli versus Ultramarine Blue 121 

Lavender Oil 69 

Lead Poisoning 177 

Leitch's Blue 136 

Lemon Chrome Yellow 135 

Lemon Yellow 137 

Leykauf, Discovery of Purple and Red Ultramarine Blue 

(Artificial) by 165 

Light, Effect of, on Asphaltum and Bitumen 36 

Light Red 137 

Linoxyn 80 

Linseed Oil 76 

Linseed Oil, Aging of 78 

Linseed Oil, Bleached 76 

Linseed Oil, Drying Action of, with Zinc White 75 

Linseed Oil, Earliest Description of ir 

Linseed Oil, Unaffected by Blanc Fixe 115 

Linseed Oil, Quality of, Desirable 38 

List of Colors 81 

Litharge in Composition of Naples Yellow 144 

Livering of Blue Black in Oil 93 

Livering of Blue Verditer in Oil 94 

Lithopone, Action on Oil of 37 

Lumiere Process of Color Photography 65 

Madder, Brown 95 


Permanent Painting 


Madder, Carmine 138 

Madder Colors, Incompatibilities of 86, 176 

Madder, Crimson 1 17 

Madder, Jacqueminot / 135 

Madder Lake 138 

Madder Lakes (Red and Alizarin Colors) 85 

Madder Lake, Action of Driers on 75 

Madder Lake, Action of Hydrated Iron Oxide on 86, 176 

Madder Lake, Effect of Raw Mineral Pigments on 86 

Madder Lake Used as a Glaze 86 

Madder Lake Glaze, Care Required in Cleaning 61 

Madder Lake in Composition of Brown Lake 96 

Madder Lake in Composition of Permanent Violet 149 

Madder Lake in the Composition of Vermilion Substitute. 162 

Madder Lake in the Composition of Warm Sepia 170 

Madder, Orient 148 

Madder, Pink 150 

Madder, Purple 154 

Madder, Rembrandt's and Ruben's 156 

Madder, Rose 157 

Madder, Scarlet 138 

Madder, Vandyke 167 

Magenta 139 

Malachite Green 139 

Mars Brown 140 

Mars Colors 140 

Mars Orange 140 

Mars Red 141 

Mars Violet 141 

Mars Yellow 141 

Masters' Secret, Search for 28 

Mastic Varnish 72 

Mauve 142 

Mechanical Bond Between Paint Coatings 41 

Media Used by Ancient Painters 10 

Mastic, Use of, by Flemish Artists 39 

Megilp, Copal 74, 115 

Megilp as a Cause of Cracking 46 

Mercury Vermilion 178 

Metal as a Foundation 48 

Metallic Soaps as Driers 1 16 

Methyl Alcohol as a Solvent 57 


Permanent Painting 


Methyl Alcohol, Utility for Cleaning Decomposed Bitu- 
men Glaze ........................................... 9 

Milori Blue (Chinese Blue) ............................ 107 

Milori Blue, Reaction of, with Other Pigments ........... 152 

Mineral Gray .......................................... 142 

Minium ................................................ 143 

Minium, Drying Qualities of ............................. 46 

Mixing Pigments, Principles of .......................... 64 

Mixing of Pigments; Practiced by Sir Joshua Reynolds. . .189 
Moisture, Protection of Wood Panels Against ............ 54 

Mono-Chrome Tints .................................... 143 

Mountain Green ....................................... 139 

Mummy ............................................... 144 

Myrtle Leaves, Green Lake Made from .................. 157 

Naples Yellow ......................................... 144 

Naples Yellow, Reddish ................................. 145 

Naphtha ................................................ 69 

Naphtha Used for Cleaning Pictures ............... ..... 59 

Natural Ultramarine Blue ............................... 131 

Neutral Orange ......................................... 145 

Neutral Tint ........................................... 145 

New Blue .............................................. 146 

Non- Permanent Colors ................................. 179 

Nottingham White ..................................... 146 

Ochre, Brown ......................................... 96 

Ochre, Brown Roman .................................. 99 

Ochre, Extract of (Mars Yellow) ...................... 141 

Ochre, Oxford ......................................... 148 

Ochre, Roman ......................................... 156 

Ochre, Transparent Gold ............................... 162 

Ochre, Yellow ......................................... 171 

Oil Copal Varnishes ................................... 7 1 

Oil of Bergamot ....................................... 73 

Oil of Lavender .................... ................... 73 

Oil Paintings, Photo-Chemical Deterioration of ......... 32 

Oils, Acid in .......................................... 102 

Olive Green ............................................ 146 

Olive Lake ............................................. 147 

Olive Madder .......................................... 147 

Orange Chrome Yellow (Scarlet Red) .................. 158 

Orange Chrome Yellow as Component of Bronze Green.. . 95 
Orange Madder ........................................ 147 


Permanent Painting 


Orange Mineral (Minium) 143 

Orange Mineral (as Scarlet Red) 158 

Orange Vermilion (Chinese Vermilion) 108 

Orange Vermilion, Field's 120 

Orient Madder 148 

Orpiment 148 

Orpiment (King's Yellow) 135 

Oxford Ochre 148 

Oxford Ochre (Brown Ochre) 97 

Oxide of Chromium ( Viridian) 170 

Oxide of Chromium (French Veronese Green) 122 

Oxide of Cobalt (Cobalt Blue) HI 

Oxide of Cobalt as Coloring Matter of Smalt 160 

Oxide of Iron (Indian Red) 131 

Oxide of Iron (Venetian Red) 167 

Oxide of Lead (Minium) 143 

Oxide of Lead (Tours Orange Mineral) 161 

Oxide of Manganese, Occurrence in Number of 100 

Painters' Oil 19 

Painting, History of 9 

Paintings Yellow with Age, Renovation of 61 

Paintings, Photo-Chemical Deterioration of 32 

Paint Removers 58 

Panels, Protection of Wood 43 

Paris Blue 152 

Paris Green (Emerald Green) 118 

Payne's Gray 149 

Permanent Colors, List of 175 

Permanent Glaze, Imitation of Asphaltum 90 

Permanent Green (See Veridian) 

Permanent Violet 149 

Permanent White Pigments 38 

Permanent White (Zinc White) 172 

Permanent Yellow 150 

Peroxide of Hydrogen for Restoring Discolored Lead Pig- 
ments 61 

Persian Berry, Lake Made from 97 

Petroleum Spirits 69 

Phoenecians, Pigments Used by the 25 

Phosphate of Cobalt (Cobalt Violet) 113 

Phosphate of Manganese (Perm. Violet) 149 

Photo-Chemical Deterioration of Oil Paintings 32 


Permanent Painting 


Picture Varnishes 7 1 

Pigments Absorbed by the Skin 178 

Pigments Affected by Light 179 

Pigments Dangerous to Health 177 

Pigments which are Absolutely Permanent When Used 
Alone, but Not Permanent When Mixed With Otker 

Colors 186 

Pigments which Dry Slowly and Irregularly 187 

Pink, Brown 97 

Pink, Dutch (See Brown Pink) 

Pink, Italian 134 

Pink Madder 150 

Plaster of Paris ; Use in Gesso Painting 9, 26 

Poisonous Pigments as a Medium 170 

Poppy Oil 76 

Powder Blue 112 

Prevention of Cracking 43, 50 

Primary Colors 65 

Primary Color Sensations 65 

Primary Pigments 64 

Priming, Coatings for 5 5 * 

Primrose Aurelian (See Aurelian) 

Primrose Yellow IS 1 

Progressive Drying 73 

Protection of Canvas 183 

Prussian Blue 151 

Prussian Blue (Chinese Blue) 107 

Prussian Blue as Constituent of Antwerp Blue 88 

Prussian Blue, Permanency of 181 

Prussian Blue, Component of Leitch's Blue 137 

Prussian Brown 153 

Prussian Green 153 

Pure Scarlet (See Scarlet) 

Purple Lake 154 

Purple Madder 154 

Purple Ultramarine 165 

Purple, Indian 130 

Quercitron Lake (Brown Pink) 97 

Quicksilver Vermilion, Use of, In Clearing Shellac Var- 
nishes 72 

Raw Sienna 154 

Raw Umber 155 


Permanent Painting 


Red Alizarin Colors 85 

Red Lead (See Minium) 

Red Lead (Scarlet Red) 158 

Red Lead, Bleaching of 181 

Refined Linseed Oil 76 

Red Oxides Used by the Ancients 23, 26 

Red, Chrome 109 

Red, Indian 131 

Red, Light 137 

Red, Madder (See Madder Lake) 

Red, Mars 141 

Red, Venetian 167 

Red, Ultramarine, Discovery of, by Leykauf 165 

Rembrandt, Colors Used by 28 

Rembrandt, Treatment of Flesh Tints by 86 

Rembrandt's Madder 156 

Remedies for Bracking of Paintings 40 

Renovation of Paintings 56 

Renovation of Paintings Yellow with Age 6l 

Resin Color ( Gamboge) 125 

Resin, Fossil; Color and Utilization of 36 

Reynolds (Sir Joshua), and Secret of the Old Masters. 28 

Reynolds (Sir Joshua), Failure of the Paintings of 188 

Roman Ochre 156 

Roman Ochre, Cool 157 

Roman Sepia (See Sepia) 

Rose Doree 157 

Rose Lake 157 

Rose Madder (See Madder Lake) 

Rough Stuff for Surfacing 49 

Royal Blue (Cobalt Blue) 112 

Rubens, Colors- Used by 28 

Rubens Madder 156 

Rubia Tinctorium (See Red Alizarin Colors) 

Russ (Lampblack), Earliest * 24 

Rye-Bread Ball for Cleaning 60 

Sandarac, Earliest Use of 13, 14 

Sandarac Varnish 71 

Sap Green 157 

Scarlet Lake 159 

Scarlet Madder (See Madder Lake) 
Scarlet Vermilion (See Orange Vermilion) 


Permanent Painting 

School White (See Flake White) 

School of Impressionism 64 

Secret of the Masters', Search for 28 

Sepia 159 

Sepia, Warm 170 

Shellac Varnish 71, 72 

Sienna, Burnt 99 

Sienna, Extract of (See Mars Orange) 
Sienna, Extract of Raw (See Mars Yellow) 

Sienna, Raw 154 

Sienna, Effect of Acid Gases on 182 

Silica (Silex) in Ultramarine Blue 164, 165 

Silver White 160 

Sinopia Used by the Ancients 23, 25 

Sinopia 28 

Sky Blue 160 

Slow Drying Colors 187 

Smalt 160 

Soap for Cleaning Paintings 56 

Solvents for Removing Old Varnish 57 

Spirits of Turpentine (See Turpentine) 

Spirit Varnish 7 1 

Steel Blue (See Chinese Blue and Prussian Blue) 
Sulphate of Barium (See Constant White) 
Sulphide of Arsenic (See King's Yellow) 
Sulphide of Cadmium (See Cadmium Yellow) 
Sulphide of Mercury (See Chinese Vermilion) 

Sulphur Dioxide in Air 180 

Sulphur Fumes, Discoloration Caused by, and its Removal 61 

Sunlight, Drying Effects of 74 

Sunlight, Bleaching Effects of 61 

Synopia (See Sinopia) 

Sizing Coats for Canvas 53 

Tempera Painting, Mediums Used for 9 

Tempera Paintings, Cleaning of 56 

Terpinol Solvent 57 

Terre Verte 161 

Terre Verte (Veronese Green) 123 

Terre Rose 161 

Tints, Monochrome 143 

"Tooth" Desirable in Ground Coats 117, 124 

Tours Orange Mineral 161 


Permanent Painting 


Tours Red 161 

Transparent Gold Ochre 162 

Turpentine 69 

Turpentine, Cleaning Pictures with 56 

Turpentine as Varnish Remover 58 

Turpentine, its Utility in Renovating Paintings 61, 62 

Tuscan Red 162 

Ultramarine Ash 166 

Ultramarine Blue 163 

Ultramarine Blue, Action with Other Pigments 112 

Ultramarine Blue, Effect of Acids on 121 

Ultramarine Blue, Effect of , on White Lead 79 

Ultramarine Blue, Composition of 165 

Ultramarine Blue with Prussian Blue 137 

Ultramarine Blue, Silica Content of 164, 165 

Ultramarine Blue, Brilliant 94 

Ultramarine Blue, French 122 

Ultramarine, Genuine (See Ultramarine Blue) 

Ultramarine, Purple *. 165 

Umber, Burnt 100 

Umber, Raw 155 

Unequal Expansion of Paint Films . . . , 50 

Vandyke Brown 166 

Vandyke Brown (Cappah Brown) 103 

Vandyke Brown (Cologne Earth) 114 

Vandyke Madder 167 

Van Eycks, Medium Used by the 39 

Van Eyck, Hubert and Jan, Painting in Oil by n, 21 

Varnish, Amber 73 

Varnish Known to the Ancients 13, 16 

Varnish as a Protective Coating 62 

Varnish, Disintegrated, Removal of 58 

Venetian Red 167 

Verdigris 168 

Vermilion, Chinese 108 

Vermilion, Extract of 1 19 

Vermilion, Field's Orange 120 

Vermilion Substitutes 162 

Verona Brown 169 

Veronese Green 169 

Veronese, Paul, Green Used by 123 

Verte de Grece 23 


Permanent Painting 


Vibert 34 

Vibert, Medium Used by 69 

Vienna Blue (See Cobalt Blue) 
Vine Black (See Blue Black) 

Violet Carmine 169 

Violet, Permanent 149 

Violet Ultramarine 150 

Viridian 170 

Volatile Solvents 69 

Walnut Oil 76 

Walnut Oil, Early Knowledge of n 

Warm Sepia 170 

Warping of Wooden Panels 54 

Water in Tube Colors 184 

White Pigments Used by the Ancients 26 

White Lead (Cremnitz White) 116 

White Lead (Flake White) 120 

White Lead (Foundation White ) 124 

White Lead, Ancient Use o 15, 22 

Wood Alcohol for Cleaning Paintings 56, 58 

Wood as Foundation 48 

Wood Lake (Purple Lake) 154 

Wood Panels, Warping of 54 

Wool as Foundation 182 

Xantophyll 125 

Yellow, Alizarin 87 

Yellow, Cadmium 101 

Yellow, Citron no 

Yellow, King's 135 

Yellow Lake 171 

Yellow, Lemon 137 

Yellow Ochre 171 

Yellow, Permanent 150 

Yellow, Primrose 151 

Yellow Sienna (See Raw Sienna) 

Yolk of Egg Used as a Medium 14 

Zinc (Metal Sheet) as Foundation 43 

Zinc Oxide (Chinese White) 108 

Zinc White 172 

Zinc White, Drying of, in Oil 75 

Zinc Yellow (See Primrose Yellow) 

Zinnobar Green 173 




l, Colors?, anti 

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V/ OF- 




With Photo-micrographs and Engravings. 

Preface. Introduction. Mixed Paints. The Manufacture of 
Mixed Paints. The White Pigments. White Lead. Zinc Oxide. 
Lithopone. Sulphate of Lead. Sublimed White Lead. The Oxides 
of Lead. Red Lead. Orange Mineral. Litharge The Inert Fil- 
lers and Extenders. Silica. Infusorial Earth Silex. Barytes. 
Barium Sulphate Blanc Fixe. Gypsum Calcium Carbonates. 
China Clay Kaolin. The Red Pigments. Venetian Reds. Indian- 
Red. Permanent Vermillion. Burnt Ochre. American Sienna. 
The Black Pigments. Coal. Charcoal. Graphite. Mineral Black. 
Carnon Black. Lamp Black. Bone Black. Chrome Yellow. 
Chrome Green. Chromium Oxide. Prussian Blue. Ultramarine 
and Cobalt Blue. Linseed Oil China Wood Oil. Dryers. Ben- 
zine. Benzol Turpentine. Fish Oil. Combining Mediums. Water 
in the Composition of Mixed Paints. Floor Paints. Cement Paint- 
Damp Resisting Paints. The Analysis of Paints. The Analysis, 
of White Paints. The Analysis of Oils in Paints. The Influence 
of Paint on Malted Liquors. The Microscope. The Spectroscope. 


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' In writing this book, the author has attempted to sift from the great mass 
of analytical chemistry, those methods which apply particularly to the analysis of 
paints, at the same time calling attention to the most important physical 
characteristics of the raw materials. 

No chemist can be proficient in the analysis of paints, without a thorough 
knowledge of all the materials with which he comes in contact. 

This book, being written from the standpoint of a chemist, employed in the 
manufacture of paints and colors, Chapter IV has been included in an atteinpt to 
bridge the space between the laboratory and the factory. It is here that so often 
the results of previous analysis are rendered worthless by being placed in the 
hands of one who does not understand their interpretation nor the composition of 
the raw materials which he is using. Over this work the chemist should ha w - 
final supervision." 

Chap. I. The Determination of the Elementary Constituents 

of Paints. 
II. Raw Materials, Properties, Tests and Methods of 

HI. The Analysis of Dry Colors, Pastes and Liquid 


IV. Matching of Samples. 
V. Paint Vehicles. 


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OCT I 7 iy/5 



APR 25 1983 
JUN6 '63 H 





LD 21-100ro.9,'47(A5702 E 16)476 

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